Minnesota Crossword Tournament

Sunday, June 14, noon – 5 p.m.

Just a “Friendly” little competition…

ladies with crosswords

Solvers will tackle three original crossword puzzles created and edited especially for this tournament by local, professional crossword creators whose work has been published in the New York Times. Scoring to be based on 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. Prizes will be awarded to finalists and winners in each category.

New “bundling” option for team players this year: Compete as a team and as four individual competitors — save up to $30 on your registration fees.

We are delighted to offer three sample puzzles created by several tournament constructors:

Registration now open for Amateurs, Experts, Teams and Spectators.

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Tournament Scoring and Rules 2015 >>

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Complete scores listed here: 2012 | 20132014

Meet the 2014 Constructors Below


Thank you to our sponsors and partners:

The annual 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. Beyond the thrill of the competition, the Minnesota Crossword Tournament features an incredible venue – the beautiful Landmark Center in downtown Saint Paul. Companies that sponsor our events and programs receive statewide recognition, publicity and positive brand affiliation. If you are interested in learning more, please contact Lynn Giovannelli, Director of Corporate Sponsorship, at 651-366-6483 or lynn@thefriends.org

Meet the Puzzle Constructors

George BaranyGeorge 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 BarocasVictor Barocas is a Professor of Biomedical Engineering at the University of Minnesota, and he has lived in Minnesota 20 of the past 25 years. He enjoys all sorts of word puzzles and games, especially solving and constructing crosswords. Victor’s puzzles have appeared in numerous outlets, including the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, and the Chronicle of Higher Education. He has helped to organize the crosswords for this tournament for the past two years.

Jon BermanJon Berman is a native of the San Francisco Bay Area. He married a Minneapolis girl, loves dogs, baseball, and the band Phish. He visited Minnesota once and loved it. Of course, it was the end of May. This is his first published crossword puzzle. (with Andrea Carla Michaels)


Johanna FenimoreJohanna Fenimore is a former NYC advertising copywriter who currently works for a San Diego company serving the golf industry. She started solving crosswords while at Northwestern University, an activity that developed into a lifelong passion. She is relatively new to construction but has had two puzzles run in the New York Times and two in the Los Angeles Times. Johanna’s family moved from California to Edina when she was seven where she loved living until the age of 18 when her family moved again, this time to NYC. Minnesota forever holds a warm place in her heart.

Andrea Carla MichaelsAndrea 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”.

Tom PepperTom 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.

Amy ReynaldoAmy Reynaldo is the co-editor of Daily Celebrity Crossword, runs the blog Diary of a Crossword Fiend, and wrote the book How to Conquer the New York Times Crossword Puzzle. She lives in Chicago but attended Carleton College in Northfield and thus has four Minnesota winters under her belt. Amy’s puzzles have appeared in the New York Times, Fireball Crosswords, the Wall Street Journal, and The Penguin Classics Crossword Puzzles.

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