Date: April 16, 2013
Byline: Betsy Ash
Crosswords At The Canton Library: The Ninth Annual Crossword Puzzle Tournament
The tournament entrants will test their skill on unpublished New York Times daily puzzles. "It's a test of speed and accuracy, but above all, it's fun!" said tournament organizer Alice Dutton. "A number of folks return every year because they enjoy it so much and because they've made friends over the years with other competitors."
Will Shortz, editor of the New York Times crossword puzzles and former editor of Games Magazine, has once again aided Ms. Dutton as she put together the tournament. He has provided the puzzles to be used, has supplied the rules for the tournament, and has had suggestions on how to run the event. Mr. Shortz, who is perhaps the best-known name in crossword puzzle circles, is head of the American Crossword Puzzle Tournament and Founder of the World Puzzle Championship. "Solving puzzles makes you a better person," opines Shortz, "You learn flexibility of thinking, and you learn to think practically."
The top ten finishers in Canton Public Library's tournament will walk away with trophies. There will be a few special prize categories for youngest, oldest, and best Canton finisher. And all tournament players will receive certificates of participation. In addition, puzzle books will be given to the top ten winners.
What are the qualities of mind of those who love crossword puzzles? "They have a mind for trivia. They read a lot. They're aware of what's going on around them," says Ms. Dutton. "When they get stuck, they must be ready to put ego aside, erase a whole section, and start over. They must believe that the answer will come to them."
The sign-up deadline for Canton Public Library's tournament is Wednesday, April 24. Participation will be limited to 40, so puzzlers are urged to register early.
For those who have never competed before but always wondered what it would be like, Ms. Dutton suggests, "It's a great chance to get in at an easier level of tournament play than is found in the larger tournaments, such as the American Crossword Tournament being held in March in Brooklyn." The puzzles will be challenging, though not as difficult as the Friday or Saturday New York Times puzzles. Although the tournament is open to anyone, she expects that most entrants will be from the Farmington Valley.
On Saturday, April 27, check-in will take place between 12 and 1 p.m. The tournament itself will run from 1 to 4 p.m. on the Community Center's lower level.
The event is free; however, pre-registration is required. Observers are welcome, but absolute silence is required during the tournament itself. No children, please. The tournament is sponsored by The Friends of the Library. Canton Public Library is at 40 Dyer Avenue, Canton. For information and preregistration, please call: 860 693-5800 or http://www.cantonpubliclibrary.org.