American Crossword Puzzle Tournament

 Crossword Tournament

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Tournamentana from Newsgroups

Thanks to Emily Cox for forwarding these to me :)


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Date: Thu, 4 Apr 1996 20:57:23 -0500
Sender: English Language Discussion Group
From: Jinny Jones
Subject: Re: Puzzle Time
In-Reply-To: <199603311754.MAA05758@cpcug.org>
Lines: 66

On Sun, 31 Mar 1996, Myles Callum wrote:

> This American Crossword Puzzle Tournament was a lot of fun.
> About 250 people attended, the elite of crossword puzzlers. Some
> of them have been on Jeopardy, and many also belong to something
> called the National Puzzlers' League, composed mostly of people
> who like cryptics.
^^^^^^^^
or other types of word puzzles.

Those interested in investigating further may visit
http://www.teleport.com/~ejbagai/


> These puzzlers even have their own Susan
> Lucci, a woman who has finished second or third in the contest
> nine different times but has never won first prize. A fair

This year she came in fourth. Results are posted at
http://paperpen.com/puzzles

>
> The second game was a combination treasure hunt and acrostic with
> cryptic-type clues. Team members had to go roaming around the
> hotel to find clues, then come back, decode the riddles and fill
> in the acrostic. One of the easier clues:
>
>
> This one had US stumped, until Emily got it:
>
> A dog that'll hunt
> (But not at the front)
> Will give you our word
> (The quarterback bird).

I think Emily has a flair for this. She associated quarterback with
football, then thought of a 5-letter team name that represented birds,
then checked that it was also "a dog that'll hunt--but not at the front."


On Friday night there was a cryptic puzzle competition, with an American
cryptic by Cox and Rathvon of the Atlantic and a British one by Brian
Greer (Virgilius) of the London Times. Brian took part in the main
competition on Saturday and Sunday, and discovered some of the cultural
differences noted by Americans who do *his* puzzles. One of the clues was
K-9 and the answer was "corps"--not a robot dog! He gave a brief talk on
Sunday, and presented the awards to winners. He quoted from an apocryphal
diary: "Got up. Shaved. Did the crossword. Shaved again."

It was lovely to have Myles and Emily visit. Added something special to
an already fun-filled weekend!

I had felt fairly confident Saturday night about that day's puzzles, but
when the results were posted Sunday morning I realized from the scores
that I must have made a mistake or left a blank square in the very first
(easiest) one. It really pays to check your paper over before turning it
in, to catch just such goofs, and I thought I had been better than usual
at doing that. But not on the first.

I didn't get home until well after ten Sunday night, too tired to check
mail. Next morning there were 800 messages in my mailbox (I subscribe to
another gabby group). So I'm just getting caught up today.

Ok, Will said next year the tournament will take place on the same weekend
in March. Mark your calendars and plan to make it a WL event.

jinny
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Date: Thu, 4 Apr 1996 23:36:22 -0500
Sender: English Language Discussion Group
From: Myles Callum
Subject: Re: Puzzle Time
Lines: 22

Jinny writes:
>> This one had US stumped, until Emily got it:
>>
>> A dog that'll hunt
>> (But not at the front)
>> Will give you our word
>> (The quarterback bird).
>
>I think Emily has a flair for this. She associated quarterback
>with football, then thought of a 5-letter team name that
>represented birds, then checked that it was also "a dog that'll
>hunt--but not at the front."


I agree about Emily's flair, though I realized later that you
didn't have to know sports to get the eagle. "The quarterback
bird" should be read as "the quarter-back bird"--the bird on the
back of a quarter, which also gives you eagle.

A couple of other wordslers seem to enjoy this stuff too.


Myles
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Date: Thu, 4 Apr 1996 21:46:51 -0800
Sender: English Language Discussion Group
From: Bookrat
Subject: Re: Puzzle Time
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In-Reply-To: <199604050436.AA08676@bolero.rahul.net>
Lines: 16

> I agree about Emily's flair, though I realized later that you
> didn't have to know sports to get the eagle. "The quarterback
> bird" should be read as "the quarter-back bird"--the bird on the
> back of a quarter, which also gives you eagle.
>
> A couple of other wordslers seem to enjoy this stuff too.
>
>
> Myles

I enjoy this stuff when someone explains it to me. I have absolutely no
flair for it at all. I still haven't figured out the non-front-hunting
dog part yet.

Ken Miller
Department of Is a Puzzlement
bookrat@bookrat.com
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Date: Fri, 5 Apr 1996 01:53:43 -0500
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From: Myles Callum
Subject: Re: Puzzle Time
Lines: 25

Ken says:
>I enjoy this stuff when someone explains it to me. I have
>absolutely no flair for it at all. I still haven't figured out
>the non-front-hunting dog part yet.

>> A dog that'll hunt
>> (But not at the front)
>> Will give you our word
>> (The quarterback bird).


There's a certain weird shorthand language they use in cryptics
and riddles. The dog that will hunt is a beagle; "but not at the
front" means there's no front to the word, so you remove the b
and get eagle.

Actually I think it gets even weirder: they sometimes use
abbreviations for words, so the b could stand in for "But." A
cryptics solver would sort of read it as "`But'", or b, not at
the front." Eventually you come to get it intuitively, but of
course by that point one is totally deranged and unable to read
the simplest sentence without looking for triple meanings in
every word.


Myles
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Date: Fri, 5 Apr 1996 11:28:49 EST
Sender: English Language Discussion Group
From: Brad Grissom
Subject: Re: Puzzle Time
In-Reply-To: Message of Thu, 4 Apr 1996 20:57:23 -0500 from

Lines: 15

> ... gave a brief talk on
>Sunday, and presented the awards to winners. He quoted from an apocryphal
>diary: "Got up. Shaved. Did the crossword. Shaved again."

Is there word play here, or is this just a testament to Puzzler's
Compulsion Syndrome?

>Ok, Will said next year the tournament will take place on the same weekend
>in March. Mark your calendars and plan to make it a WL event.
>
>jinny

I guess Will knows that the RCA Dome in Indianapolis is not
available that weekend. :)

brad

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