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 |

Registration Information


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 17, 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:

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:

Sunday, March 29
9:00AMPuzzle 7
11AMSomething to keep everyone busy while we finish scoring the Sunday puzzles!
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.

If you need help, call Helene Hovanec at 718-797-0264 (
For questions regarding the hotel, call the Stamford Marriott at (203) 357-9555.