American Crossword Puzzle Tournament

 Crossword Tournament

Crossword Tournament Program

38th Annual American Crossword Puzzle Tournament
March 27-29, 2015

Jump ahead on this page to: Registration Info | Hotel Reservations | Schedule | Scoring | Who Competes
Prizes | About the Puzzles | The Judges | Rideshare | Stamford | Solving at home
This is information about the 2015 38th Tournament. Information for 2016 will be posted in December, 2015.

Registration Information

All Events as a Competitor (including Friday)$210*
All Events as a Competitor (beginning Saturday morning)$160*
All Events as a Non-Competitor (including Friday)$160*
All Events as a Non-Competitor (beginning Saturday morning)$110*
Friday Evening Games and Reception Only$  65
Spectator for Sunday Playoffs (starting at 11AM) Only$  20
*You may deduct $10 from this amount if payment is made and received by March 24, 2015.

Hotel Reservations

Space is limited, so act now! You are responsible for making your own room reservations!

The Stamford Marriott Hotel & Spa provides special low guest room rates ($129, single or double occupancy), available for contestants Friday and Saturday nights. The rates are $129/night PER ROOM (plus tax) regardless of your choice. This rate is guaranteed through March 23, 2015 (rates afterward subject to room availability). If you need to come early or check out late, please call 800-732-9689 to make arrangements, as this link will only work for Thursday through Sunday.

  1. Online: Stamford Marriott ACPT Group Rate
  2. By phone: Phone call in your reservation to the Marriott at 1-800-732-9689 and be sure to ask for the Crossword Tournament group rate

Be prepared with the following information:

  1. Group name: American Crossword Puzzle Tournament
  2. Dates: March 27-29, 2015
  3. Number of people and choice single, double w/1 bed, or double w/2 beds
  4. Your name, (firm), address, and who you are sharing with. Note: to avoid duplication, submit one reservation for room shared by two or more people
  5. Arrival date (Friday, March 27, or Saturday, March 28)
  6. Departure date (Sunday, March 29)
  7. Credit card info (number and expiration date)

Note that reservations will be held until 6 pm unless guaranteed for late arrival by a check for the first night's room deposit, company guarantee of payment, Club Marquis membership, or by one of the following credit cards: MasterCard • Visa • American Express • Diner's Club • Carte Blanche • Club Marquis

Check-in time is 3pm. Check-out time is noon.


Friday, March 27

Warmup games and entertainment. Featuring:

NEW! Multimedia Crosswords -- by Henry Hook and Joel Fagliano

Teams of four will race to solve crosswords on tablets in which at least half the clues involve pictures, sounds, and video. Bring your own iPad/tablet or use one provided by the tournament. The puzzles will use new crossword-solving software, specifically designed for tablets, from

10:00PMWine and cheese reception.
11:00PMAwards for all the evening games.
Saturday, March 28
All dayPuzzle market — crossword books, word games, and other products of interest to puzzlers
9:30AMTournament sign-in
11:00AMPuzzles 1, 2, and 3
2:30PMPuzzles 4, 5, and 6
8:00PMMore games and entertainment. Featuring:

Film Night

  • 10th Anniversary Celebration of the filming of "Wordplay" — with Patrick Creadon and Christine O'Malley
    Including never-before-seen outtakes, press coverage, clips from "The Simpsons," a slide show from Sundance and the IFC Center in New York, comments about the making of the film, a Q&A with the audience, and an update on what Patrick and Christine have been up to since "Wordplay"

To be preceded by ...

  • "A Man, A Plan, A Palindrome" — world premiere of a documentary short about Mark Saltveit, World Palindrome Champion
    A film by Vince Clemente, who also made the successful documentaries "The World of Z" and "Ecstasy of Order: The Tetris Masters"
Sunday, March 29
9:00AMPuzzle 7
11AM"Crossworders Got Talent" — a variety show featuring ACPT contestants and officials, with music, dance, comedy, and games. (If you would like to participate, or would like more info, email Will Shortz at
NoonAwards presentation and announcement of the playoff contestants.
12:15PMChampionship playoff, in which the top three contestants in Divisions A, B, and C compete in successive sudden-death rounds conducted on giant grids. Live, play-by-play commentary on the A and B finals by Ophira Eisenberg, host of NPR's "Ask Me Another," and Greg Pliska, puzzle writer and the musical director for the Tony Award-winning play "War Horse."


Scoring is based on accuracy and speed. Score as follows:

  1. 10 points for every correct word you entered across and down
  2. A bonus of 25 points for each full minute you finished ahead of the suggested solution time — BUT reduced by 25 points for each missing or incorrect letter (but not beyond the point the bonus returns to zero)
  3. A bonus of 150 points for each completely correct solution

For the purpose of scoring, a "word" consists of any series of letters written between black squares in the grid, or between a black square and the border of the grid, whether it is a single word, a phrase, or otherwise.

Complete rules will be explained prior to competition.

Who Competes?

Contestants simultaneously compete in all events for which they are eligible:
Division AEveryone
Division BContestants who have not won a Division A or Division B prize during their last seven tournaments
Division CContestants who have not finished in the top 20% during their last three tournaments
Division DContestants who have not finished in the top 40% during their last three tournaments
Division EContestants who have not finished in the top 65% during their last three tournaments
Age DivisionsSolvers 25 years and under (Juniors), 50-59 years (Fifties), 60-69 years (Sixties), 70-79 (Seventies) and 80+ (Seniors)
Regional DivisionsSolvers in each of 11 geographical regions:
Connecticut, Other New England, New York City, Long Island, Westchester/Upstate New York, New Jersey, Other Mid-Atlantic, South, Midwest, West, Foreign [map]
RookiesContestants competing for their first time. Rookies are not eligible for "D" or "E" prizes.


Division A1st Prize$5,000
4th-10th (each)Trophy
Division B1st Prize$300
Division C1st Prize$75
Each of Divisions D and E; Juniors, Fifties, Sixties, Seventies, Seniors1st-3rd PrizesTrophy
11 Regional Winners (each) [map]1st & 2nd PrizesTrophy
Rookies1st Prize$300
4th & 5thTrophy

Plus Every prizewinner receives a New York Times crossword collection from St. Martin's Press.

About the Puzzles

All crosswords have been specially created and edited for the tournament.

Sample Puzzles:

The Judges

The judges and referees include leading names in crossword puzzling.

Need a Ride? Want to give a fellow Puzzler a lift to Stamford?

Post to our bulletin board. No password or account is required, no email addresses are directly shared, and listings are viewable only by sharing the URL below.

Stamford, CT: Directions and Information

243 Tresser Boulevard
Stamford, Connecticut 06901 USA

Flying Into...
Note: there is no shuttle service between airports and the hotel.

JFK 42 miles. Driving Directions: Take Van Wyck Expressway to Whitestone Bridge. Follow signs to I-95 North to Connecticut. Take I-95 North to Exit 8. Go up two lights, make a left on Canal Street. Second light make a right on Tresser Blvd. Then make first right into Marriott hotel, go to end and make a right into the Marriott Hotel parking garage. Taxi: Estimated $110 cab fare. Shuttle: Royal Club Limo/Connecticut Express Shuttle; fee: 145 USD (one way); reservation required.

LaGuardia - LGA: 35 miles. Driving Directions: Exit airport, take Grand Central Parkway towards Whitestone Bridge. Follow signs to I-95 North to Connecticut. Take I-95 North to Exit 8. Go up two lights, make a left on Canal Street. Second light, make a right on Tresser Blvd. Then make first right into the Marriott Hotel, go to end and make a right into the Marriott Hotel parking garage. Taxi: Estimated $110 cab fare. Shuttle: Alternate transportation: Royal Club Limo/Connecticut Express Shuttle; fee: 135 USD (one way); reservation required.

Westchester County White Plains Airport - HPN: 13 miles. Driving Directions: Take Route 684 South to 287 East. Follow signs for I-95 North to Connecticut. Take I-95 North to exit 8. Go up two lights and make a left on Canal Street. Second light make a right on Tresser Blvd. Then make a right into the Marriott Hotel, go to the end and make a right into the Marriott Hotel parking garage. Taxi: No estimate available. Shuttle: Alternate transportation: Royal Club Limo/Connecticut Express Shuttle; fee: 70 USD (one way); reservation required.

Public Transportation to the Stamford Marriott

The Stamford Marriott hotel is about 0.6 miles from the Metro North New Haven Line Stamford station. There are several economical ways to get to the Marriott from LaGuardia, JFK and Newark airports via public transportation. The Metropolitan Transportation Authority (“MTA”) has a booklet that tells how to connect to the railroad:

Solving At Home

Now you can take part in the American Crossword Puzzle Tournament — and find out how you'd score — from your own home!

  1. On Your Computer: Solve the puzzles online on the weekend of the tournament, or at anytime throughout the year. Standings of online competitors are constantly updated. Click here for details.

  2. By Mail: Receive this year's puzzles (upon completion of the tournament) by mail, solve them and return your solutions to us with your times. We'll judge your puzzles, send you your scores, and tell you your ranking in every event in which you were eligible. To Register, click here.

For questions regarding the hotel, call the Stamford Marriott at (203) 357-9555.