Get tickets below for the sixth annual tournament on Sunday, June 11!
You solved a puzzle before breakfast this morning. In ink. Word-nerd, this is your chance to put those skills to the test. Spend an afternoon with people who love a challenge just as much as you – and maybe even bring home a prize. (And bragging rights, of course.)
Minnesota Crossword Tournament
Landmark Center, Saint Paul
Sunday, June 11, 2017
Doors open: Noon
Competition Begins: 12:30 p.m.
All levels welcome! Experts, Amateurs, and Teams
Here’s how it works:
Solvers at each level of competition will tackle three original crossword puzzles, with 15 minutes to solve each puzzle. Points will be given for accuracy and speed. Solvers with the highest combined scores from the first three rounds will move on to the finals, with championship puzzles solved in front of the audience. Click here for the full set of rules and schedule.
Prizes will be awarded to winners in each category as well as several special awards.
Puzzles are created and edited especially for the tournament by nationally recognized and local, professional crossword creators whose work has been published in the New York Times, LA Times and other publications.
Official Media Partner:
Official Outreach Partner:
Practice for the tournament by trying your hand at last year’s puzzles! Order the 2016 Play-At-Home Puzzle Pack for just $5 (PUZ and PDF). This year’s puzzles will be available after the tournament.
The Minnesota Crossword Tournament offers sponsors an opportunity to be part of the only competition of its kind in the state. With the help of some of the top crossword constructors in Minnesota (and nationally – with Minnesota connections), the tournament is designed to be enjoyed by everyone from experts to amateurs. Last year more than 150 puzzlers and wordsmiths lined up to compete, and at least 200 competitors are expected this time around. Companies that sponsor our events and programs receive statewide recognition, publicity and positive brand affiliation. If you are interested in learning more, please contact Greg Giles, Vice President of Development and Community Engagement, at 651-366-6499 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Thank you to our sponsors and partners:
The Librarian’s Almanaq
Christopher Adams is a graduate student in mathematics at the University of Iowa. He first got into constructing after meeting George Barany at the 2015 Minnesota Crossword Tournament, and has since had solo puzzles published in the Chronicle of Higher Education and Orange County Register, with one soon to appear through Fireball Crosswords. In addition, he and George Barany collaborate on the crossword for the Star Tribune Magazine.
George Barany is a Distinguished McKnight University Professor of Chemistry at the University of Minnesota College of Science and Engineering. His first New York Times puzzle, a collaboration with Michael Shteyman, appeared on a notable Sunday anniversary in January 2006. He has additional puzzles in the New York Times, as well as others in venues such as the Chronicle of Higher Education and the Wall Street Journal. Solve more than 300 puzzles from Barany and Friends.
Victor Barocas is a Professor of Biomedical Engineering and an avid crossword solver and constructor. His puzzles have been published in the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, and the Chronicle of Higher Education, amongst other publications. He created the Ada Cross mystery / crossword series, which will be published in hard copy soon. He has participated in every MN Crossword Tournament and lives in St. Paul with his wife and two children, all of whom enjoy crosswords and games.
C.C. Burnikel runs the LA Times Crossword Corner blog. She has had puzzles published by the Los Angeles Times, the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, and other outlets.
David Hanson grew up in the Twin Cities. He graduated from Mariner High School in White Bear Lake in 1982 and from the University of Minnesota with a B.S. in Mathematics in 1986, and works as a Chargemaster Analyst with Gillette Children’s Hospital in Saint Paul. He has had crosswords published in the Los Angeles Times and the New York Times, and two of his creations were chosen by Will Shortz as the weekly qualifying quiz for NPR’s Sunday Puzzle. Hanson has been a member of the National Puzzlers’ League since 1997.
Andy Kravis is a puzzlemaker, editor, and trivia writer living in Brooklyn, NY. A native Michigander, Andy is one of the co-directors of the annual Indie 500 Crossword Tournament. Since 2011, Andy’s puzzles have been published in the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, the Chronicle of Higher Education, Fireball Crosswords, Outside the Box Puzzles, the mobile app Crosswords With Friends, and semi-regularly on his own blog, Cruciverbalist at Law.
Mark McClain grew up in Oklahoma, spent most of his career in business management in Texas, and now lives in Salem, Virginia, near the iconic Appalachian Trail. His visits to all 50 states included a 350-mile camping trip in a 14 ft. boat down the Mississippi River starting in Minneapolis. In addition to his regular contributions to several nationally syndicated puzzle outlets, he has published three books (the “Unplugged Crosswords” series). In his spare time he does volunteer work for several local organizations.
Andrea Carla Michaels grew up in Minneapolis across the street from Lake Harriet. After a career in stand-up comedy, “Dating Game” chaperoning and writing for game shows and sitcoms, she now resides in San Francisco. With close to 50 crosswords published in the New York Times and dozens of others from TV Guide to the Los Angeles Times, she is known for her early week puzzles which are on the lighter, easier side, but still fun to solve. As a company/product namer and founder of ACME Naming.com, her life is words, words, words. She also won a Motorhome on “Wheel of Fortune”.
David Liben-Nowell is a faculty member in the computer science department at Carleton College. His research focuses on social networks, and he has written about a dozen crosswords for the New York Times, the New York Sun, Games, and Penguin Classics Crossword Puzzle Collection. Recently, David has been dabbling with Psychobabble, a kind of network-based word game produced by Ultralingua.
Tom Pepper is the Finance Director for the City of Eagan. He has survived 45 Minnesota winters. His few brushes with fame include having Ann Curry as a guest at his wedding and co-constructing crossword puzzles with Victor Barocas. Tom’s puzzles have appeared in the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, and the Chronicle of Higher Education.
Andrew J. Ries has been constructing crossword puzzles for more than 10 years. His work has been published in Fireball Crosswords, the Los Angeles Times, the Wall Street Journal, the Chronicle of Higher Education, and the New York Times. He has also has written six books of crossword. In addition, Ries is a skilled solver, placing in the top 50 at the American Crossword Puzzle Tournament and the top 30 at Lollapuzzoola.
Jeffrey Wechsler calls himself a “cruciverbal Rip Van Winkle.” He had a few puzzles published by the New York Times in the 1960s, then took a 40-year hiatus before starting to create puzzles again in 2009. He is now one of our most prolific constructors, with puzzles published regularly in in the Los Angeles Times and the New York Times. Perhaps indicative of his propensity to do things the “old fashioned way,” he still constructs puzzles by hand.