Tournament Info/Schedule

About the ACPT

Founded in 1978 by Will Shortz, the American Crossword Puzzle Tournament is the world's oldest and largest crossword event. This year it is being conducted both virtually and in person. Solvers will race to solve eight crosswords specially created for the event by leading puzzlemakers, earning points for accuracy and speed. The puzzles range in difficulty from easy/medium to very challenging.

At the end of the weekend the top three solvers in the live competition in Stamford CT in the top three divisions (A, B and C) will face off on a final puzzle for all to watch, with live commentary. In addition, the weekend features bonus puzzles, word and trivia games, and presentations through which participants can meet each other in a fun, relaxing atmosphere.

For Virtual solvers, see the schedule below for the full weekend's activities.

Note: You'll need to use a computer or a laptop, not a smartphone, for solving the tournament puzzles. Tablets are not recommended for speed-solvers.

Sample Puzzles are available here so that you can try solving before purchasing tickets. 

Live streaming for virtual solvers will begin Friday, April 1 at 8:00 pm

  • You can access the live stream from the Westchester Table Tennis YouTube channel found here:  https://acptonline.com/livestream.

  • Welcome — Will Shortz

  • Warmup games and entertainment. Featuring:

    • “Behind the Scenes of the Wordle Craze” — remarks by Josh Wardle, the inventor of Wordle

    • “Wordle Contest” (six rounds, conducted live on players' smartphones)

    • “Pick Your Poison” contest — [Round 1:] Cryptic Crossword or Puns & Anagrams; [Round 2:] Split Decisions or a Spiral.  Virtual solvers can solve at the same time, but won't be eligible to win these contests.

Saturday, April 2 — 11:00 am - 5:00 pm

Tournament puzzles #1-#6 - Starting at 11:00 am ET

  • Welcome and summary of rules — Will Shortz

  • Puzzles 1, 2 and 3 — 11am-12:45pm (approximate times):

    • Puzzle 1 - 15x15, 15 minutes

    • Puzzle 2 - 17x17, 25 minutes

    • Puzzle 3 - 19x19, 30 minutes

  • Puzzles 4, 5 and 6 — 2:15-4:45pm (approximate times)​:
    • Puzzle 4 - 15x15, 20 minutes

    • Puzzle 5 - 17x17, 30 minutes

    • Puzzle 6 - 19x19, 30 minutes

 

Saturday —  8:00 pm - 10:00 pm

  • Welcome — Will Shortz

  • More games and entertainment. Featuring:

    • Palindrome Fight — with Mark Saltveit

    • Fact or Fake? — game by Stan Newman

    • Annual MEmoRiaL award for lifetime achievement in crossword construction — presentation by Marie Haley to Emily Cox and Henry Rathvon, with slide show and live tributes

 

Sunday, April 3 — 9:00 am - 2:00 pm

  • Welcome back — Will Shortz

  • Puzzle #7 - 21x21, 60 minutes

  • 11:00 am: Livestream of a preview of "Word Nerd," a new musical by Yale students, performed by members of the cast; the full musical will have its premier at Yale at the end of April

  • Noon-12:30 pm: Livestream of presentation of prizes, followed by the announcement of the Division A, B and C playoff contestants in Stamford

  • The three playoff contestants will solve the final puzzle, beginning with the C division and moving to the B and A divisions

  • The playoff puzzles will be made available to everyone when the C finals begin - 15x15, 15 minutes.  You can choose to do any (or all) of the 3 versions, there will be no scoring of these puzzles.

Prizes

  • There will be no prizes for the virtual event, but overall and age group winners will be announced on our home page late Tuesday, April 5.

Constructors

In alphabetical order:

  • Gary Cee

  • Joel Fagliano

  • Tracy Gray

  • Christina Iverson

  • Wyna Liu

  • Brendan Emmett Quigley

  • Mike Shenk

  • Robyn Weintraub