Only 25 points separated Francis Heaney, Al Sanders and Tyler Hinman. Robert reports the A clues are very tough. Being busy blogging, I haven't had a chance to really solve this so there's no way to tell how I would have done had I made the C or B finals. Congrats to all those guys and gals by the way. I'll be up there with you next year, I swear.
The blank grids have been put up and Will is now summoning the three finalists into the room. Al will be at the left, Tyler in the middle, and Francis on the right. There is only a 2 second head start for Tyler. Al's been in 8 playoffs, Tyler three and Francis, one.
Shouts of "Go Al!" come from the room, hoping he doesn't repeat his ZOLAESQUE mistake of 2005. Francis is the last to put his headphones on. We begin the finals.
"Stanley made the clues up over a three-day 'Goodfellas' festival," jokes Neil. Tyler is working the right side center first, Al top left corner, Francis top left as well. Francis has 1-Across but has gotten into a trap. Al's making minimal progres, and Tyler seems stymied in the corner. Now he's writing fast. Tyler now has a mistake too. The last time Stan did a finals puzzle for a tournament we were at, no one solved it correctly. Merl with another anagram! Where does that gift come from?
Al has no mistakes so far and seems to be doing good so far. Tyler isn't doing a lot of writing right now. Francis has fixed one of his problems. Tyler now has the bottom left done. Al is working very carefully. Tyler has another mistake. He's fixed something. Doing finger erasing. Not very sanitary but it saves seconds. Tyler may be able to put something together here, and Al is still grinding away. Francis is still having some problems. "The trap door underneath the podium has opened up," says Neil. Al has now made a mistake. He's assuming a plural in -S. Not always. 8:00 left. Al finished 1-Across, which was his 2005 downfall. Francis is still a little slow. Tyler has one corner left to go and then a few spots to fill in. (Careful there!)
Al's got a letter blank in a corner - hope he checks it. No one seems particularly close to finishing after 10:00 of solving. This one could... go... all... the... way... down to the wire! Merl notes "'I hate you' has all the vowels once, including Y." Tyler has one corner to go but another mistake. Al's filled in that missing square I was worried about. Now he should find his mistake. Will he? Tyler is staring at his blank corner. Francis still in this thing? Al is now working the bottom. Still has one mistake though, so does Tyler. Tyler now has one less mistake. This is going to be a nail biter. 3-1/2 minutes left and they've all got the same mistake. Al is almost done and he's gotta find that mistake. Tyler is now working his bare corner.
Tyler has now fixed the mistake everyone had. Tyler is close to being done. Al is close to being done. Tyler has one square left. Tyler is now stuck with 2 squares done. Al is done with one letter wrong. Tyler is done perfect. Francis is still working. Al as given Tyler his congratulations. Francis has run out of time.
3rd - Francis Heaney
2nd - Al Sanders
1st - your 2007 ACPT champion, Tyler Hinman