It’s Almost Crossword Tournament Time in Brooklyn
The American Crossword Puzzle Tournament, the world’s oldest and largest crossword event, is celebrating its 35th event in a few weeks.
Nearly a thousand crossword aficionados from more than 35 states, Canada and abroad — ranging in age from teens to 80s — will compete at the Brooklyn Bridge Marriott from March 16 to 18. The ACPT is the brainchild of its director, Will Shortz, crossword puzzle editor for The New York Times and Puzzlemaster for NPR.
Contestants compete on seven crosswords created especially for the event. Each puzzle has a time limit of 15 to 45 minutes, and contestants score points for accuracy and speed. At the end of the tournament the top three scorers appear on stage to solve an eighth and final puzzle, printed on giant boards for all to watch. The playoff round will be announced by Liane Hansen, former host of NPR’s “Weekend Edition Sunday,” and Greg Pliska, quizzicist for public radio’s “A Way with Words.”
The most common professions represented at the tournament are computer programmers, musicians, teachers, writers, editors and attorneys. Last year there was also one each of: excursion boat captain, archeologist, concierge, soldier, “domestic goddess,” and zymurgist (a fancy word for a brewer).