AP NEWS

42nd Annual American Crossword Puzzle Tournament at Stamford Marriott March 22-24, 2019

March 19, 2019

This week, approximately 1,000 crossword enthusiasts are expected to flock to Stamford to participate in the 42nd Annual American Crossword Puzzle Tournament (ACPT), hosted by Puzzle Master and The New York Times Crossword Puzzle Editor Will Shortz, a former resident of Stamford.

The event, taking place Friday, March 22, through Sunday, March 24, at the Stamford Marriott Hotel & Spa, is expected to draw more than 700 competitors from 40 states, Canada, and Europe.

With 2019 marking the 36th time the ACPT has been held in Stamford, Mayor David Martin is declaring Sunday, March 24, “Stamford Crossword Puzzle Day.”

The first American Crossword Puzzle Tournament was held at the Marriott Stamford in 1978, and there were 149 contestants. The event remained in Stamford for 27 years until it moved to Brooklyn, N.Y., in 2006 after the ACPT documentary “Wordplay” appeared in theaters around the country.

“As you can imagine, attendance in ACPT exploded in 2006 … so much so, that the following year the tournament was moved to Brooklyn to accommodate the large group of puzzle solvers,” Tom Civitano, director of sales and marketing for the Stamford Marriott Hotel & Spa, was quoted as saying in a news release.

”Thankfully, Will Shortz brought it back to Stamford in 2015. The city and our hotel owe a lot to this Puzzle Master. Prize money for this year’s tournament is now more than $10,000. First prize is $5,000,” Civitano said.

Tournament founder Shortz said in the release he is happy to host the annual ACPT in his former Stamford hometown, noting that the Marriott “feels like home” for the event.

“This year, the Stamford Marriott sold out on guestrooms five weeks before the tournament,” Shortz said. “Having to direct contestants to other hotels nearby is a good problem to have. I’m eager to see everyone again — many puzzle solvers return year after year. It’s a reunion of some of the most quirky, flexible minds in the world. I’m honored the tournament has become such a huge success.”

To register for the American Crossword Puzzle Tournament, go to www.crosswordtournament.com. Participants can also register at the door. For more information on the championship, contact Michael Smith at 215-266-2802 or via email at msmithacpt@gmail.com.