2009 American Crossword Puzzle Tournament

Sunday, February 22, 2009

I just now registered for the tournament in Brooklyn this weekend (Feb. 27-Mar. 1).

You can still register online here.

This posting is intended as a forum for readers who are attending the Tournament. Identify yourself, ask question, swap contact information, whatever.

I have to say that the tournament is one of the most ridiculously friendly environments I've ever been in in my life. If your reasons for not going are anything other than financial, I encourage you to reconsider.

At any rate, I'll be there, disguised as my alter ego, a mild-mannered professor from upstate New York.

So, if you're going, shout it out in the Comments section of this post.

Best wishes,
RP

PS for unofficial tournament t-shirt info, go here. Shirt features a crossword blogger-themed puzzle by master constructor Vic Fleming.

48 comments:

Anonymous 5:31 PM  

Best of luck to you. I am a Thursday puzzle kind of person, who only does a few puzzles per week, but I always check out your comments for the interesting or difficult ones Thanks.

Crossword Man 6:35 PM  

Magdalen and I are registered too and very glad to know one attendee at the outset. We hope to make a lot more friends by the end. We've had some Crossword Man tees made, so should be recognizable from them! See you there.

hazel 7:10 PM  

I won't be there in person, but I will be participating online. According to the website, for just $20, you have access to all the tournament puzzles and can compete against others online.

Puzzles will be released at the same time as the puzzles at tournament, but you don't have to do them right then - you can do them anytime in 2009.

Here's the link for registration/more information.

retired_chemist 7:36 PM  

I wish I were - all the best to the attendees/competitors, many of whom will be familiar to us followers of this blog. I hope I have the skill and confidence in place to compete next year.

foodie 8:55 PM  

I'm sorry I cannot be there and meet in person the great people of Rexville-- including Rex's alter ego. I hope you all have a blast!

@hazel, thank you! I didn't know about this option. I just joined.

Greene 9:42 PM  

I wish I could go this year. If the people at the competition are half as nice as the folks on this blog, then a good time should be had by all. I would love to meet all my fellow posters; maybe my schedule will be better next year. I wish you all the very best of luck. Make sure Rex feels the love during the panel discussion.

@Hazel: Thanks for the link. I would like to work those tournament puzzles. I'm signing up now.

Bill from NJ 10:19 PM  

I hope to be there next year, health permitting. I was so looking forward to going this year but . . .

Good luck to all my cyber friends and especially to Orange, a special good luck.

nanpilla 10:25 PM  

I will be there with my sister, Beth. Hope to meet many of you who provide so much enlightening entertainment every day through this site. The puzzle is only the beginning - the commentary here is frequently the pay-off.

Daryl 10:53 PM  

Sigh, wish I could go, but distance is such a barrier - will try to go sometime in my life!!

mac 11:14 PM  

I checked the tournament out last year, on the Sunday, at the finals, and, as Rex mentioned, met the nices people you would ever like to meet. I was included in many conversations, met Orange, Rex, Karen and her mother, and several constructors whose names I didn't know then.....

This year I will be there from beginning to end, and hoping to meet many, many blogfriends. I'm nervous about the tournament, but in the end it's more about the whole experience.

treedweller 11:35 PM  

Just got into NYC tonight for a visit with relatives. Will arrive in Brooklyn Wed. (for B&B time with my non-puzzling-but-very-tolerant-most-of-the-time companion) and the Marriot on Friday. I opted out of the social activities (due to budget, mainly, and also to spare NPBVTMOTTC), but will be puzzling away in the tournament.

I considered suggesting that all subjects of King Rex go to Burger King for one of those cardboard crowns (do they even still make those?) but realized there's no way I'm wearing one. The rest of you may feel free to run with my idea. Maybe a better method of mutual identification will materialize here (either way, nice personal nametag, Crossword Man). Maybe beets as good luck charms?

mac 12:13 AM  

Would it be possible to superimpose our blognames on our ACPT nametags? Maybe in red?
Otherwise we can just decide on a time to meet in the bar.

andrea carla michaels 2:39 AM  

can't wait!
I'll be there as my alter ego, a shy, long-haired, 98 yr old man from Borneo.

Jason 3:41 AM  

Good luck to all. Can't make it this year but I'll cheer for you Rex.

chefbea 7:16 AM  

I plan to be there on Sunday. What time shall I arrive? Is there a get-to-gether breakfast for Rexites?

Perhaps we could all carry a bunch of beets to recognize each other. I will be wearing my IMS DAVE
T-shirt

Crosscan 8:00 AM  

I will be there. I am a 9-inch tall orange creature with an Expos cap. I will be accompanied by a 6' 3" bespectacled man named Jeffrey.

Karen 8:26 AM  

I'm going to be there. My mom Julie is flying up to join me again. I like the idea of writing the bloggers' names on the nametag.

PuzzleGirl 8:35 AM  

I will be there disguised as an Iowa wrestling fan. The woman next to me that looks just like me? That'll be my sister. If you see us, flash us an L-7 sign.

Chorister 9:03 AM  

Won't be there, but just joined the Thankers-of-Hazel Club.

Good luck all!

Amy Reynaldo 9:28 AM  

There's also a hard-copy version of the play-at-home tournament—they mail you the puzzles afterwards, you time yourself, you mail in your puzzles, Ellen Ripstein grades them, and you get the puzzles back with info about how you would've ranked at the ACPT.

I, of course, will be wearing a custom-made jumpsuit made out of orange rinds.

Opus2 10:00 AM  

I'll be there, trying to match unidentifiable faces which are above nametags sporting birth-given names that have no known relation to the intentionally obscure blognames by which I know these people. That seems like the hardest puzzle of all.

Actually, I'll be the guy promoting the NYTimes XWP on Blackberry and other mobile devices. Drop by and say hello.

Mark Murphy 11:13 AM  

I plan to be there for the second straight year, arriving Friday afternoon. Looking forward to Rex's panel.

PhillySolver 11:17 AM  

Last year I put one of those round colored stickers on my name tag. I wrote PhillySolver on it and met hundreds of people (really), including gracious Rex and lovely Mrs. Rex, PG, Orange, Jim Horne and lots of constructors. For some reason most of the this happened in bars ;)

Ulrich 11:42 AM  

I'll be there and probably the only Ulrich in the crowd--and I'll wear the same sweater I'm wearing in the photo from the Westport tournament.

obertb 11:46 AM  

As my daughter, who lives in Williamsburg, will tell you, I will use any excuse to come to NYC, and the ACPT seems like as good an excuse as any. I suffer no illusions that I will be among the ranks of the cruciverb poobahs, but I hope to have a good time nonetheless. The Armory Show is the following week, so I'm staying for that as well.

Karen 12:17 PM  

Ulrich, checking the 08 database, there was someone else with the last name of Ulrich attending. But you had the only first name.

Jim in Chicago 12:26 PM  

I won't be there either, but send good wishes to those of you who will.

Although I'm rapidly improving, I still consider myself somewhat of a newbie to crossword-land. Maybe I'll get up the courage to do a tournament soon - I'd love to meet all of you it person.

mac 12:33 PM  

@obertb: the Works on Paper at the Park Avenue Armory is starting on Feb. 27 and ends March 2. We always enjoy that one as well.

CalebM 1:12 PM  

I'll be there for my first time!

Anonymous 5:46 PM  

Did someone say Dan Gable? You do know he was beaten by someone from the Northwest? Best of luck to all. Be doing the puzzle, here, this year.

HudsonHawk 5:54 PM  

I will be part of the rookie crowd this year and have temporarily replaced my Opus avatar with my mug shot. I'm looking forward to meeting all the familiar identities from RexWorld.

David

PuzzleGirl 5:58 PM  

@Anon 5:46: Yeah, Gable did get beat by that guy ... what's his name again? ... Oh yeah, nobody remembers! (all in fun!) ;-)

I'm getting super excited to meet up with everybody later this week!

jeff in chicago 6:21 PM  

Won't be able to make it. Maybe next year. Hope everyone has a grand time.

Eli Barrieau 6:39 PM  

I'll be there again. I usually don't post, so this will only be of interest to people who have been here a while. And even then, not really:). I failed pseudonyms 101, so if you yell "Eli" I'll turn around.

Badir 7:21 PM  

I'm going for my third straight ACPT. I had a great time the last two times and met all sorts of people. For instance, last year I met Rex, Orange, and EmJo, among others. I think I'll write "Badir" on my "David Moulton" nametag. And I'll have my wife Kristy, aka "Eleven Stitches" in the knit-blogging world, for her first crossword tournament!

Orange 7:59 PM  

Jim in Chicago, there may be a small Chicago tournament this April for you to get your feet wet at. If it comes to pass, I'll be talking about it at my blog and luring Rex's Chicagoland fan base as well.

andrea carla michaels 9:04 PM  

You see! That's the reason I use my whole name...but I've been given such grief about it!
I find it otherwise unbelievably confusing...plus I think everyone should have to be accountable for everything they say, in real and fake life!
That said, if the powers-that-be insist I need a nom de blog,
look for the real fake blond Jewess with ACME on her nametag...

I LOVE puzzlegirl's L7 idea!!!!!

Howard B 9:21 PM  

Andrea: You were the 98-year-old man from Borneo last year?!? I wouldn't have guessed.

Haven't been posting here much as of late, but a (relatively)long-time reader. Will be great to meet many of you, or see you again, depending.
First-timers, remember, just have fun and enjoy the experience - honestly, there's not much to worry about socially or competitively. It's a very congenial, welcoming crowd.

nanpilla 9:58 PM  

Any suggestions on places to eat in the area on Friday or Saturday night?

obertb 11:54 AM  

@nanpilla: You're only a train ride from some of the greatest restaurants on the planet. There's hardly a cuisine in the world that can't be found in NYC. Do a little research to find the kind of place that you like and hop on the subway! You'll have a fabulous meal and see a little of the city at the same time.

miriam b 8:53 PM  

Wish I weren't so flippin' broke.

Chip Hilton 9:39 PM  

I hope all the Rexites have a really nifty time. Go get 'em!

I made my maiden tournament effort at Westport and really enjoyed the experience. Maybe in a year or two or twelve, I'll be ready to move up to The Bigs. In the meantime, I'll be pulling for all of you.

Leo C R 1:02 PM  

I have never participated before and am contemplating joining up in order to compete in the under 25 division. That said, what sort of talent should I expect to see from that division (on a NYT relativity scale)? Also, is the tourney always in BKLYN?

Ulrich 2:36 PM  

@Leo CR: The tournament winner may be in that bracket--so, you will be in good company:-)

mac 4:03 PM  

@Leo C R: some of the puzzles you solve are made by constructors your age or younger.....

imsdave 6:20 PM  

My plan is to arrive at Penn Station around 2 on Friday, and catch a cab to the hotel. I have no specific plans at that point, but I expect there's a bar and I'll visit it after settling in and hopefully get to meet some of you, and figure out a dinner plan for evening one. Picture with my kids is available at this link if you're on facebook:

http://www.facebook.com/album.php?profile&id=1516243002#/photo.php?pid=30054131&id=1516243002

If not, look for a mid-fifties guy, 6'3' grey hair and a tad overweight.

Looking forward to meeting so many of you.

@Ulrich - be forewarned, Fikink insists I give you a hug for her.


Dave Eckert

Ben 7:32 PM  

Hey Rex,

Ben from Chicago here. I've been reading your site for about a year, but I haven't joined in the chitchat because I've been solving in syndication.

I'll be attending the tournament for the first time this weekend. Looking forward to attending your panel and meeting what's clearly a friendly, interesting group of people.

I'm going more for the experience than the competition. I usually finish the Fri. and Sat. puzzles without googling, and though I know a few things (3-time Jeopardy champion), I haven't really cultivated the ability to solve quickly. I joined the NYT puzzle site recently but instead of learning to blow thru a Monday puzzle in 3 minutes, I've just been enjoying the Fri-Sat archive.

See you in Bklyn. You too, Orange - nice story in the Trib BTW, a friend told me about it.

Dave 11:20 AM  

The NYTimes XWP for BlackBerry by BPLAY is horrid. Nearly a month into it and it only plays once and never activates. All I got for my money was 1 down and 3 across! Too bad because it shold have been the best app ever! BPLAY can't seem to get it to work at all.
Grrr

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