April 05, 2009

BCPT recap

whew, full day of crosswording for me. i notice that there hasn't been much blogging here... not sure if it was me or puzzlegirl who dropped the ball, but sorry about that. i was busy with my other gig. i won't discuss the puzzles yet because they're upcoming NYT puzzles, but if you want to read about some of the other details of the 2009 and hopefully first annual boston crossword puzzle tournament, follow the jump.
first of all, it was very nice to meet so many people whose names i had seen here (and elsewhere in the blogosphere). off the top of my head, i can recall dave "evad" sullivan, dan feyer, ryan hech & brian cimmet, dan chall ... surely there were others, but my brain is a bit fried. if i met you today, remind me in the comment box!

not to toot our own horns or anything, but the tournament seemed to be a success. we had almost 250 people attend, which is fantastic; of those, 149 were registered competitors in the event. there were four puzzles, with no playoff. the overall winner was douglas goodman, by 1 minute over will johnston and steve smith. i don't know too much about doug, but according to the ACPT website, he's from new york city. that's a long way to go to win a crossword tournament! thanks for making the trip, douglas. and since doug is now the owner of a giant boston crossword puzzle, he'll get to learn more than he ever wanted to know about our fair city.

other NYC attendees included dan feyer and ryan & brian. dan gets special commendation for coming all the way up to volunteer for scoring duties. (i'm not sure if you know this, but dan is a fast solver! unofficially, just between you and me... he would have won the tournament had he entered.) dan was also gracious enough to donate a volume from his burgeoning crossword library to the tournament's prize fund. as for R&B, i'm told there is a forthcoming "fill me in" podcast about the event, so you'll be able to get the inimitable duo's unique perspective on the tournament. i'm looking forward to that.

aside from the competition itself, the event seems to have been a fun gathering for the boston cru, crossword-interested harvard undegrads, and various community members. will shortz was in fine form, regaling the crowd during breaks between puzzles with his NPR quiz material, amusing anecdotes, and a lengthy Q&A session. it was great to have him there, on top of the fact that we're very grateful to him for providing the tournament puzzles!

okay, off to bed. if you were at the tournament, feel free to chime in!