Friday, February 29, 2008

Friday Game Results

The Brooklyn Crossword Puzzle Extravaganza, a set of interlinked puzzle challenges by Eric Berlin, was won by the team of Roger Barkan, Chris Morris and Justin Smith. Five other teams of three won prizes of a puzzle book from St. Martin's Press.

Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz and his wife briefly addressed the crowd before the games began. Markowitz then presented Will Shortz with a proclamation.

Games in progress - we'll be playing soon. Pictures, soon, too, as soon as we get them off the camera!

Puzzle Authors at ACPT

Paula Gamache, Oliver Hill, Maura Jacobson, David J. Kahn, Bob Klahn, Andrea Carla Michaels, Merl Reagle, Mike Shenk

We Are Here

Greetings from Brooklyn. Bob and I rolled in about an hour ago. We've already run into Fred Piscop (our prize winner for first contact at the tournament), Stan Newman, Merl Reagle, Rich Norris, j!m jen!sta, Helene Hovanec, Tyler Hinman and Amy Reynaldo. We just got our web access all fired up, and this is looking to be one for the ages.

My first impression of this hotel is its vastness. You could probably fit the whole Stamford ballroom in the lobby here in Brooklyn. Rooms are nicely appointed, too. Hopefully the ballrooms will be as big and nice.

The Puzzle Brothers Present, For Your Entertainment...

We have two puzzles that we will be deploying free of charge at the tournament. They are called "In Old New York" (by Dave) and "Soap Box Derby" (by Bob). Copious amounts of copies will be available and sometime this weekend, we will have the puzzles available online for you.

ACPT Bloggage, with Heaney

Michelle Bialeck has written a nice essay about the 2007 ACPT, with a great picture of one of last year's finalists, Francis Heaney. The wonderful thing about this tournament is that every competitor, however skilled they may (or may not) be, has a story to tell. This is mostly the story of one of last year's rookies, Carmen Banta.

Thursday, February 28, 2008


Okay, it's only 11:xx or so the night before, but the day has arrived. The American Crossword Puzzle Tournament will launch its 31st edition in New York City, some 41 miles and eleven months removed from its longtime home of Stamford, Connecticut.

The substantially higher prices for tournament accomodations and lodging, coupled with a first-time spectator's fee of $30 for the finals (if you want to read Will's defense of this year's prices, read Stella Daily's blog) have not deterred almost 700 of the world's best crossword solvers from coming to the Brooklyn Bridge Marriott for this weekend's festivities, kicking off formally Friday evening at 8:00 with a rather informal game and puzzle session.

Then, late Saturday morning, the for-real puzzling begins as the competitors will flip over the first of six puzzles to be solved that day. We do not know at this point exactly who the puzzlemakers are (with the exception of Maura Jacobson, who always provides Puzzle #6, much to the crowd's eternal delight), but they're usually the men and women at the top of their game. Who will do the killer finals puzzle this year? Who will have the "puzzle of death" that almost always seems to be slotted in #5?

We are looking forward to seeing all 700 or so of you in Brooklyn tomorrow!

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

The Count Now Stands At...

655, according to an article in Bloomberg today. By the weekend, we will know if a new ACPT record for participants have been set.

Also, if you're planning on attending the Cru dinner, check your e-mail for an important update.

Tyler's New Blog

As we await the weekend and whether he will win an unprecedented fourth ACPT, we call your attention to Tyler Hinman's new blog.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

American Idol Contestant Is A "Word Nerd"!

During this evening's Fox network broadcast of "American Idol", contestant David Cook, one of the top 10 males, said that he was a self-professed "word nerd" who enjoys crossword puzzles and word searches. The show even showed him working a USA Today crossword. He didn't sing too badly tonight, either. Let's hope he sticks around.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

In Five... Four... Three... Two... One

It's hard to believe, but it is almost Tournament Time. Of course, we all have to get used to the fact that we're now convening in late February instead of March, but I rather like the new schedule... and I'm most grateful that I didn't give up solving crosswords for Lent.

Anyway, I have no idea at this point how many people are going to be showing up in Brooklyn, but it's my gut feeling that this tournament is going to again set a record.

Our gift to the Brooklyn solvers is going to be a special Tournament puzzle which will be posted on the first day of the tournament, and I will also make print copies available to those traveling without computers. Bob and I hope you enjoy it. And like we always say, come over to our table, say hello, use our pencil sharpeners, whatever. We're looking forward to seeing you.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Two Weeks To Go...

...and no room at the inn.

The Marriott at the Brooklyn Bridge has out the NO VACANCY sign for Saturday, March 1. So much so, that two other Marriotts have had to clear rooms for tournament attendees. Clearly, there is some interest in the tournament again this year.

With over 600 guest rooms totally booked and counting the possibility of multiple solvers per room, this is shaping up to be the biggest American Crossword Puzzle Tournament yet. If you recall, last year's tournament set a record with 698 competitors, up exactly 200 from the 498 in 2006, and the Brooklyn move was formally announced that weekend.

If you haven't registered yet - and goodness sakes, why haven't you? - go to the official ACPT website and send in your fee, and join the party. Of course, you can also register on site. A mere $275 gets you into the tournament and all ancillary events.

In spite of the fact that the Puzzle Brothers team will be a little short-handed this time - Tracy can't make the tournament this year due to not one, but two family-related conflicts - make sure you bookmark us. No other website comes close to our live, on-scene coverage (and live final-round blogging) of the ACPT. We will have plenty of photos and bloggage from the tournament this year (as long as Tracy lets me borrow her camera).

Sunday, February 10, 2008

True Story

I'm in my local book store, and I pick up a relatively new New York Times compilation called "Crosswords for Two". Hmm, let me see what it's all about, I think to myself. I pick up the book and turn to a random page, and the very first puzzle I see is a puzzle I had in the NYT several years ago! What are the chances? I mean, I've only had four puzzles in the Times so far. I've got a greater chance of hitting something by Trip Payne or Manny Nosowsky or one of those dudes.

That's cosmic, smacking of eerie.

As a result, we're no longer noting appearances by the Puzzle Brothers in NYT compilation books, as they're bound to become ubiquitous the more puzzles I sell to the NYT.

Another Crosswordy "Crosswords" Player

This past Wednesday, Amy Reynaldo, author of "How To Conquer The New York Times Crossword Puzzle", appeared on "Merv Griffin's Crosswords" - did she conquer Timothy Parker's daily stumper? Watch and find out!

Monday, February 04, 2008

Westport Report Wanted

The ninth annual Westport Tournament was held on Saturday. If you wish to write up a report for us, please leave a comment, and we'll move it to the main entry. Thanks!

Sunday, February 03, 2008

New York Times - Monday, February 4, 2008

Solve the puzzle by Dave and Tracy! (NY Times membership required.)

NOTE: The timed applet is working now as of 4:30 a.m.

Friday, February 01, 2008

"Merv Griffin's Crosswords" Renewed

Promising a "bigger and better" Season 2, host Ty Treadway has revealed on his blog that planning is now underway for the second year of "Merv Griffin's Crosswords". With very few syndicated game shows now making it past the first year, this is an accomplishment.

Program Partners, the show's syndicator, has confirmed that the show is a "firm go" for Year 2, and has already begun work on expanding their program portfolio by announcing a new talk show for Marie Osmond, set to premiere in Fall 2009.

The show's New York outlet, WNBC, has already renewed the show and possibly will pair it with a new syndicated daytime edition of "Deal or No Deal" with Howie Mandel.

Here's the link if you want to be a contestant.