Do you enjoy solving crossword puzzles, starting off with the easy one on Monday and flexing more mental muscles as the week goes on? Do you wish that your cruciverbalism didn’t have to be a solitary activity? The Killingworth Library has the event for you! The library’s second annual tournament will be a shorter version of the American Crossword Puzzle Tournament, which has been an annual event for over 30 years.
“We’ll use four not-yet-published puzzles from the New York Times, ranging in difficulty from Monday to Thursday,” explains event coordinator Jan O’Sullivan, who has competed in crossword puzzle tournaments nationwide. “Accuracy and speed will rule the day, but there will be a separate winners category for those who have never competed in a tournament before,” she adds.
Will Shortz, founder of the American Crossword Puzzle Tournament (ACPT) and Crossword Puzzle Editor for the New York Times, will provide the puzzles.
Solving crossword puzzles, O’Sullivan explains, can be a very solitary activity. “For people to come together and to challenge themselves against the clock with other people is different and fun. The real fun happens in between the puzzles, when there is time to socialize. It’s a little stressful during the puzzles, but that’s kind of a personal challenge and it can be interesting to see how you do against the clock.”
Participants are given up to 15 minutes to complete each puzzle. There are breaks in between puzzles to talk with other puzzlers and enjoy refreshments. Last year, Cozy Corner Bake Shop made a delicious crossword puzzle cake.
Last year’s cake was Oreo cake, “which was funny because Oreo is a very common crossword entry, being so vowel-dense.”
The first annual tournament, held in January 2012, drew participants from all over -- not just Killingworth but Madison, Middletown, Ivoryton, Old Saybrook, Ellington, Ashford, Norwich, Columbia, Northampton MA, and Queens NY.
St. Martin’s Press is providing crossword puzzle books for prizes. Trophies will be given as well.
“This is a taste of what Will Shortz’s upcoming event, the American Crossword Puzzle Tournament, is like. The ACPT is a whole weekend event on March 8, 9 and 10 in Brooklyn, NY.”
Tournament contestants are also invited to visit the New York Times Crossword Facebook page for crossword giveaways, trivia and more.
Whether you’d like to compete or are a more leisurely solver, come enjoy the afternoon of Sunday, February 10 with other puzzlers (snow date: Sunday, March 3).
Seating is limited, so please register in advance by calling the Killingworth Library at 860-663-2000, stopping by in person, or sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with your name, address, and telephone number. There is a $10 registration fee, payable at the door. The doors will open at 12:30pm, the tournament runs from 1pm until 4pm, and warmup puzzles will be available.