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How do I access the livestream?

Virtual solvers will be able to watch the tournament proceedings on a livestream, beginning at 8pm ET, Friday, April 5.


The link to this stream will be from the ACPT YouTube channel here:  No login credentials are necessary to access the livestream.

The livestream will include Will Shortz on location at the Stamford Marriott Hotel. You will see his introductory remarks to the in-person solvers as well as hear him say "Go!" when each puzzle will be made available online on this site.   The livestream will focus on the timer in the room once each puzzle has been launched.  (This timer may or may not correspond to the timer above your puzzle depending upon when you click the link to the puzzle to begin your solve.  Your timer is what is used to compute your score, not the one displayed on the stream.)  A chat stream will be available during the solve (as well as afterwards as a recording), so please refrain from posting any spoilers from any of the puzzles there.


We will also broadcast the finals competitions and the awards presentation on Sunday, April 7.


Do I have to solve the puzzles at the same time as the in-person solvers?

No!  The online puzzles will be made available at the same time as the in-person solvers receive them, but you can wait up until two days later to solve them.  (Your time will begin when you access each puzzle.)  Our virtual standings will be considered final as of midnight (EDT) Monday, April 8, with winners in the overall, Rookies and age categories to be announced on this site the following day.  Standings by Skill Division and Geography categories will not apply to the virtual tournament.


If something prevents you from solving during this period, please contact us so we can work with you to retroactively add you to our standings.

How do I solve the puzzles?

  • Puzzles will be made available as links from this page at the same time in-person solvers can begin solving them.

  • Your timer will begin counting down from the maximum time allowed for that puzzle as soon as the puzzle appears on your screen.

  • At the one minute remaining mark, you will hear a sound and the timer will change to an orange color.

  • With ten seconds remaining, the timer turns red and starts blinking.  You MUST submit your puzzle before the timer hits zero or you will receive no score for that puzzle.

  • After you submit your puzzle, you will be asked for your email address.  Be sure to use the same email address for all 7 tournament puzzles so we can tally your overall score on our standings page.

  • If you have any trouble with the solving interface, we will have 2 Help Desks staffed during the tournament.

How are the puzzles scored?

As in prior years, we will be scoring puzzles by the second, so for the super-competitive, you can submit your puzzle the instant you solve it and be credited for every second you are ahead of the buzzer. 

A running tally will be kept of each contestant’s scores. Points will be awarded for each puzzle as follows:

  • Ten (10) points for every correct word entered across and down;

  • As in prior years (and only for virtual scoring) scoring by seconds: one bonus point for every two seconds the contestant finishes early--this bonus, however, to be reduced by 30 points for each letter that is omitted or entered incorrectly, up to, but not beyond, the point the bonus returns to zero; and

  • One hundred fifty (150) bonus points for a complete and correct solution.


A solution that is not submitted within the time limit (that is, before the timer reaches 0:00) will receive a score of zero.

For the virtual tournament, we will only track standings by age category and Rookies (Skill Division and Geography categories will only apply to the in-person tournament). Virtual solvers are not eligible for any of the tournament cash prizes.

Are there Sample puzzles?

There are! Click on the Puzzles link in the header to solve the sample puzzles.  (These puzzles are available to all visitors to this site.)

How does Pairs solving work?

For Pairs solving:

  • NEW THIS YEAR!  Both solvers will login to this site with their own credential (email address), but only one (designated as primary when registering for the tournament) will submit the puzzle and enter their email address when a puzzle is completed.

  • Only one solver will submit the puzzle​

    • If the pair is not together, the second solver can also work the puzzle.  Both solvers will begin by accessing the live puzzle link from this site.

    • Both team members will communicate through some means - by being in the same room, or by phone, Facetime, Google hangout, whatever you find easiest!

    • Only the solver submitting the puzzle enters their email address after solving.  The second solver should NOT submit their puzzle when done.  If a second solver inadvertently hits the submit button, just enter "" as your email address or just close your browser.

    • You can switch off who the "designated puzzle submitter" is between puzzles as long as you stick to a single agreed-upon email address for submitting.

More questions? Contact Us with them!

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