Sunday, March 09, 2014


Dan Feyer Extends Streak To 5 Wins In A Row

Michael Sharp put it best when he tweeted after the ACPT this year....

For the fifth year in a row, Dan Feyer was the fastest and smartest solver at the 37th American Crossword Puzzle Tournament, ringing down the curtain on a seven year run at the Brooklyn Bridge Marriott.

Dan's solve of the Mike Shenk finals puzzle was smooth as anything previously seen by the newly transplanted Californian, handily beating competitors Tyler Hinman (second place) and Howard Barkin (third place). All three solvers were perfect on the final puzzle.

Not so B division.

Benjamin Coe emerged triumphant over Kevan Choset and Andy Kravis, the latter two of whom made the same exact mistake on the puzzle. There's quite a difference between LAO and TAO, isn't there? Oh, WAO.

Your other winners:

Remainder of Top Ten: Joon Pahk, Anne Erdmann, Jon Delfin, Erik Agard, David Plotkin, Francis Heaney, Ellen Ripstein
C: Michael Megargee
D: Chris Popp
E: Maureen Kildee
Rookie: Megargee
Junior: Agard
Fifties: Erdmann
Sixties: Ripstein
Seventies: Doug Hoylman
Senior: Bob Rubin
West: Feyer
Connecticut: Glen Ryan
NE: Pahk
NYC: Delfin
LI: Thomas Weisswange
Upstate NY: David Heinick
NJ: Howard Barkin, then Robert Mackey
Mid-Atlantic: Agard
South: David Plotkin
Midwest: Erdmann
Foreign: Emily O'Neill

The handwriting award was noteworthy because for the first time it was won by a man - Jeremy Lin. (No, this guy wasn't the basketball player.)

The 2015 ACPT will be March 27-29, 2015 in Stamford, Connecticut. Beat you to the breakfast buffet!


Five time champion and the once and future king of Brooklyn!

Playoff Puzzle Participants

C - Matt Sandler, David Heinick, Michael Megargee
B - Benjamin Coe, Kevan Choset, Andy Kravis
A - Howard Barkin, Tyler Hinman, Dan Feyer

Talent Show underway....

Some good talent so far from the likes of Tommy Lee Cook, Ben Bass and Vic Fleming, as the final scores and rankings are computed. The play by play on the finals puzzles will appear on Twitter (@thepuzbros), with recaps here.


The Saturday session of the American Crossword Puzzle Tournament 2014 edition has ended. Here's how things are shaking out....

The six puzzles so far have shown three familiar names atop the leaderboard: Dan Feyer, Tyler Hinman and Howard Barkin, with the B leaders being Andy Kravis, Adam Cohen and Kevan Choset.

Not a lot of controversy with this year's puzzles, which in order of appearance, were authored by Kelly Clark, Patrick Blindauer, Merl Reagle, MaryEllen Uthlaut, Brendan Emmett Quigley, and Anna Shechtman, other than the usual bad crossings and general hard feelings about that fifth puzzle. Neither Puzzle Brother  successsfully completed that puzzle. Bob is presently in 34th place and Dave 121st.

The Saturday evening activities involved a game of  Clever Clues. Will had three words,  NEST, ELOPE and ARSON and had actual NYT clues with only the first letter of each given. If you got it off the first letter only you gave yourself 10 points. The second letter of each word was then added, and if you got it then, you scored 5. The winners of that contest were Doug Hoylman, followed closely by Thomas Weisswange and Jonathan Olsen.

David Steinberg was up next with a brief talk about the Pre-Shortzian Puzzle Project. David and his team of litzers have now completed the daily NYT puzzles (which began in 1950) and are as far back as 1948 with the Margaret Farrar-edited Sunday puzzles. "I can see the light at the end of the tunnel," noted David, who now needs proofreaders to make sure the litzing is accurate. The project has had some unexpected benefits such as confirming the first puzzle constructed by Bernice Gordon, which was litzed by Howard Barkin and included the first use of the entry MAMIEEISENHOWER. That was back in 1953. David also noted that during the Shortz era there has actually been a decline in the number of female constructors, mostly due to the adoption of computer construction software.

Finally, Matt Ginsberg presented an updated version of his Dr. Fill computer-solving software chalk talk, complete with a demonstration of all six tournament puzzles so far. Some of the puzzles were perfectly solved, some were not.

Festivities resume tomorrow at 9 a.m. DAYLIGHT SAVING TIME with puzzle 7!

Friday, March 07, 2014


Greetings and welcome to the 37th American Crossword Puzzle Tournament, almost live from Brooklyn.... for the last time. Will Shortz announced in an interview with the New York Times Wordplay columnist Deb Amlen that the tournament will return to the Stamford Marriott in Connecticut on March 27-29, 2015.

Lots of excitement around the Brooklyn Bridge Marriott as for the final time we look forward to two days of crossword competition. The big question remains (as it has for the last three years) "can Dan Feyer make it (number of tournaments won +1) in a row?"

Consider in the past decade, all the time I've been going to these tournaments, there have been only two champions: Tyler Hinman (2005-2009) and Dan Feyer (2010-2013). Will someone new come to the fore?

Be that as it may, here is your A-list of 28 contenders (of 555 pre-registered contestants):

Erik Agard
Howard Barkin
John Beck
Kathie Conarck
Jon Delfin
Len Elliott
Anne Erdmann
Dan Feyer
Peter Gordon
Katie Hamill
Francis Heaney
Tyler Hinman
Eric LeVasseur
Frank Longo
Robert Mackey
Eric Maddy
Joon Pahk
Doug Peterson
David Plotkin
Amy Reynaldo
Ellen Ripstein
Glen Ryan
Al Sanders
Jeffrey Schwartz
Ken Stern
Scott Weiss
John Wilson
Stella Zawistowski

The Carnival of Puzzles has concluded with co-winners Robert Mackey and Al Sanders.

For the latest on the tournament follow @thepuzbros on Twitter!