Saturday, September 28, 2013

DEJA VU ALL OVER AGAIN - ACPT B Finals Replay Gives Bob Mackey His Fifth Westchester Championship

Bob Mackey realized early on that the finals of the 17th Westchester Crossword Tournament would most likely be a replay of the ACPT "B" division finals from this past March in Brooklyn and let everyone know it (the word "jinx" not being in his vocabulary). Scanning the room, he found Jeff Schwartz and Glenn Ryan, who harbored much the same desire. Nowhere to be found was defending champion Thomas Weisswange.

Glenn Ryan was the first clean finisher on the Monday NY Times puzzle from the forthcoming week, a construction by Ian Livengood. If not for one wrong letter, Bob Mackey would have qualified on the Tuesday puzzle of Joel Fagliano. Jeff Schwartz was the first eligible correct solver. And for the third puzzle, the Wednesday, October 2 by Paula Gamache, it was Bob as the last announced finalist, finishing just behind the already-qualified Jeff. The finals were set.

In spite of an early pen problem, Bob steadily worked through the Thursday puzzle - a nice rebus from first time NYT contributor Evan Birnholz - while the other two lagged behind, with Glenn out in front first, and Jeff eventually overtaking him in what little drama the finals had. Bob finished clean in a little over eight minutes, even with the pen mishap, to capture his fifth Westchester Crossword Tournament title (sixth if you count the doubles title in 2006).

Kudos to Will Shortz for keeping this tournament lively and interesting with the addition of a table tennis playoff for the top finishers on the Gamache puzzle. Afterwards, Westchester Table Tennis Club co-owner and resident pro Robert Roberts treated us to a demonstration.

Thursday, September 19, 2013


The cooler weather and turning trees mean only one thing - Westchester time is upon us! Will Shortz is again hosting his hometown Westchester Crossword Tournament at his Westchester Table Tennis Club, in Pleasantville. The 17th tournament, to be held Friday, September 27 beginning at 7:30 p.m., will again benefit the Pleasantville Fund For Learning.

Donationa to compete are $30 for single, $45 for doubles pair, or $5 if you just want to watch.

Competitors will tackle the next three Monday-Wednesday New York Times puzzles, then the top finisher on each puzzle (perfect in the quickest time) will solve the Thursday puzzle on stage using the familiar white boards.

Additionally, this year there will also be a crossword/table tennis biathlon. The top four finishers at crosswords who sign up for the biathlon will face off in table tennis to determine the biathlon champion.

Last year's singles champion was Thomas Weisswange. More information available at