Crossword Puzzle Tournaments

Most people would do crossword puzzles in their homes, in their work stations, and in a very peculiar situation, in their bathrooms. But since the day crossword puzzle became a hit during the 1920s, it became a competitive sport where people would compete with each other to get the best solver of the crossword puzzle.

One of the most famous and widely popular crossword puzzle tournament is the American Crossword Puzzle Tournament or the ACPT. The American Crossword Puzzle Tournament is a annually event organized by Will Shortz. This competition started in 1978 and was first launched in late February of the year. The contest is usually held ruing late February until early March.

The ACPT became the largest and oldest, well attended crossword competition in the United States in 2009 alone, there were about 700 competitors who participated in the event. This competition is held in the United States, for the last 30 years the Marriott in Stamford, Connecticut became its home. Because of in increasing popularity and increasing number of participants, organizers felt the need for looking a bigger place. Thus, the ACPT moved the competition in Brooklyn, New York in Marriott Brooklyn Bridge in 2008.

What is the mechanics of the tournament?

There are seven rounds and in each round there is a puzzle which all of the competitors and participants should solve. Puzzles are different in each round. It is different in terms of sizes and difficulty. Criteria for judging would include the accuracy of solving and the speed of solving the puzzle.

After being judged for the different criteria, they will be scanned, scored and afterwards ranked. There are three divisions: the A, B, and C. In each division, the top three scorers would progress to the final round.

The final round would have a gain crossword puzzle that the final three contestants would be solving in front of the tournament spectators. The contestants would be wearing noise-blocking headphones to block sounds coming from spectators and commentators. The winner of the final puzzle will be declared as the tournament champion.

There are different prizes to acknowledge the range of those who participated in the tournament. There would be prizes for solvers in other skills divisions and for rookies. There are also awards for age and geographical division winners.

The first ACPT only had five puzzles constructed by Maura Jacobson, Jordan Lasher, Jack Luzzatto, Tap Osborn and Jake Steinhardt. The first winner of the tournament was a housewife from Queens, New York named Nancy Schuster.

Tyler Hinman is the current ACPT champion. He has already won the tournament for five consecutive times. He first won at the age of 20 back in 2005, he continued his winning streak after that. That is the longest reign of a champion in the 32 year history of ACPT. He first competed in ACPT at the tender age of 16, he placed 101 out of the 322 contestants.

ACPT is not the only crossword tournament, but it is highly regarded since it is the longest and most participated crossword puzzle tournament in the United States. In London, there is also a crossword puzzle tournament called the Times Crossword Championship.

The Times Crossword Championship started in 1970 where there were 20,000 people who were able to get through the first stage. There were three rounds where each round would have a puzzle they need to work on. Those who have survived the first three rounds were invited to participate in the last round where they would have to answer 4 more puzzles.

The winner of the Rimes Crossword Championship was Roy Dean, an office diplomat. After the fist year of the tournament, he became consistent in participating in the finals. He is now a crossword puzzle creator for the Times.