December 07, 2005

The pace of human evolution

Here's a question for longtime Stamford contenders (Trip, Ellen, Al, and everyone else who's been competing for years—I'm looking at you) and/or Will Shortz: Has the level of competition at the ACPT been elevated over time, just as world-class athletes' performances have surpassed those of years past? Or are this year's top finishers on a par with their counterparts from 10 or 15 years ago?

I'm wondering whether the solving times listed in Volume 1 and Volume 2 of Will Shortz's Tournament Crosswords are commensurate with the current crop of competitors (sorry about the alliteration), or if they reflect performances that wouldn't cut it at Stamford in 2006.

What do you think?