And here we go with the A Division. Ellen starts first, then Tyler and Kiran start together three seconds later. This should be an exciting one!
They have now begun. These are the toughest clues for the best solvers. "This is like 'Gilligan's Island': The movie star, the professor, and .... THE KID."
Kiran already has a mistake in his grid.
Tyler has filled in the bottom right, while Ellen is attacking the bottom left. Tyler is now migrating to the top left. Ellen has begun doing the top of the puzzle. Ellen has now pretty much finished the upper right. There is now one word in the puzzle that all three competitors have wrong!
Some of the very clever clues are eliciting laughs, oohs and aahs from the audience. Ellen's now working the bottom right. Meanwhile Kiran pretty mich has the right side nailed but has few entries to the left side. Tyler and Ellen haven't gotten a lot on the top yet. Kiran's now working the center. "Did we mention this (puzzle) is a bastard?" asked Merl.
Tyler has fixed everyone's mistake; Ellen and Kiran haven't caught it yet. Tyler's just finished 1-Across and may now take this home. Ellen's now corrected her error. Tyler has two letters left. He is done.
Kiran and Ellen are still plugging away. Will they finish? There's now about 3:30 left. Kiran fixed his previous mistake but has now made a new one. Kiran's pretty much got the center and has now fixed his mistake.
Less than 2 minutes to go! Kiran and Ellen are about equally far away from finishing. It may come down to missed letters. Ten, nine, eight, seven.. time's up!
3rd place, 15:00, 7 letters wrong - Ellen Ripstein
2nd place, 15:03, 3 letters wrong - Kiran Kedlaya
1st place - Tyler Hinman
We will have coverage of the luncheon and more pictures later. For now, we're signing off from Stamford.