Sunday, March 01, 2009


This is it! The final showdown between (from left to right) Trip, Tyler and Francis. This is the first time all three have had the same starting time. There is an issue with the contestants' headphones that the judges are trying to resolve. Sound check lines: "You're really handsome, Tyler." "You're really handsome, Trip." "Dumb dad sorry for his bet." "1-Across is ZOLAESQUE." "RPI sucks."

Liane Hansen in the house. She, of course, hosts the Weekend Edition Sunday for which Will has been providing puzzles for the past several centuries.

Ready, set, go! All three race out of the starting gate. "A LeMans start, everyone racing for their cars." There is an answer about a key and Francis and Trip both write in _M__OR, smartly. Trip has a little edge so far. 15-A is a very tricky clue that Tyler has nailed. Tyler is almost finished with the upper left. Now he is finished. Both Trip and Tyler have the last Across-clue. Tyler has now pretty much finished the middle. Francis has gotten a lot of the top left done now. Trip has bottom right. Tyler is now working bottom left. Francis has made some progress on the bottom left. Trip has a lot of the bottom right done. Francis is now working upper right. Trip is working for the middle and is now going to the lower left corner. Tyler has about half the puzzle solved. Trip working upper right now. Francis now has half the puzzle solved too. This could be a photo finish. Trip now has a mistake upper right and he's moved away from that corner. Tyler is now working top right. Tyler now has a mistake upper right. Tyler is fixing his mistake now. "Nobody thinks as fast as Tyler does, when backed into a corner. Except maybe Spider-Man." Trip signals done. The crowd reacts to the mistake and Trip says, "You're kidding me!" Now Francis has made the same mistake that Trip has. Tyler is checking his grid... he doesn't look happy. Francis is finishing up. Tyler is rewriting in the bottom of his grid. Tyler is shaking his head. Francis looks to be finishing up. Francis signals done. He's wrong too. Tyler still checking his board. He's AT SEA. He doesn't have a clue! First time in five years, not perfect? He's got some blanks to do. This could come down to what Tyler does in the next five minutes and it could come down to wrong squares!."I don't know," says Tyler. This is nail biting! Tyler has one wrong square and one blank. He knows he has a few more minutes left. Tyler is now jogging in place, doing the Rocky thing. TYLER HAS FOUND HIS MISTAKE AND FINISHED PERFECT! HE WINS!

3rd place - 2 squares wrong - Francis Heaney
2nd place - 2 squares wrong - Trip Payne


Anonymous said...

Hello, if you don't mind me asking, what was the same mistake that Francis and Trip made in the upper right? I've solved it online and am wondering what tripped them up. Thanks!


Anonymous said...

Congrats to Tyler!

The Tiger Woods of the ACPT!

Dave Mackey said...

Anonymous #1 - since there are always online and at-home solvers, I can't really give specifics on the puzzle. I don't want to spoil the solving experience for those who were not able to be at the tournament for whatever reason. This has always been our policy.

Anonymous said...

A-ha! Gotcha, I understand. Thanks for replying!


lastminutemark said...

Andrew --

There is a way for you and others to see their error without violating the rules (the spoiler-averse should avoid this, of course!)

Go to Jim Horne's blog on the Times site, and check "Day 2: The Finals at the Crossword Tournament". Photo #8 shows Trip standing next to his completed board; the error is clearly visible.

Ironically, in the one close up of me from that same batch of photos, I'm filling in the correct answer for that same clue...