The annual crossword tournament mounted by Community Blood Services Foundation in northern New Jersey is being pushed ahead on the schedule a few weeks from when it was held last year. The now two-day affair is set for Friday, September 29, and Saturday, September 30, at Bookends in Ridgewood.
The festivities kick off Friday night with a Sudoku competition with a $100 first prize and trophies for the top three finishers in Junior (12-17) and Senior (18+) divisions. The puzzles will be prepared by Will Shortz, who has a number of Sudoku books on the market.
Saturday's crossword competition features puzzles edited by Nancy Schuster and designed by some of the top constructors featured in The New York Times, Penny Press/Dell and Newsday. Competitors will include last year's champion, Robert Mackey. (The other Puzzle Brother, a sidelines observer last year, will be joining the fray this year too.)
There is competition in A and B divisions, with A division comprised of anyone who has placed in the 30th percentile or higher in any puzzle tournament, and B for everyone else. Winners will share $500 in prize money, and will each receive a trophy. Trophies and books will also be awarded to the top contestants in the Rookie division, top contestants from several geographic regions, age groups (including juniors under 21, 50’s, 60’s, and Senior Citizens 70+), plus "the coveted Handwriting Award." Starbuck's (remember them?) is providing continental breakfast. Lunch is "on your own" this year, a change from last year's buffet. A wine and cheese reception will follow the competition.
If you want to come to Ridgewood for a day of crossword fun, visit http://www.communitybloodservices.com/php/puzzle_PHP.php and fill out the form. Of course we hope to see you there - who are the Puzzle Brothers to miss a good time when crosswords are involved?