Date: April 9, 2007
Byline: Devin Culclasure
Gainesville hosts inaugural crossword competition
UF senior Cara Bowen-Goldberg rested her chin on the palm of her hand, racking her brain for a three-letter word that fit the clue "put a lid on it." But the answer would not come.
"That was a tough one," she said after examining the answer key and learning that the correct word was "pot."
"I was looking at it wrong."
Bowen-Goldberg and 40 others competed Saturday in the inaugural North Florida Crossword Puzzle Tournament at Gainesville's Savannah Grande reception hall. Donations and entrance fees raised about $2,000 for the annual Generation Connection summer camp at the Woodland Park Boys & Girls Club, said Joel Daunic, a tournament organizer and a founder of the camp.
Gainesville resident Gail Axtell, 65, won the individual contest. Wes Corbett; his wife, Nancy; and their friend Pat Srygley took first place in the team competition.
The puzzlers were scored on how quickly and accurately they completed their puzzles, and a hush swept the room each time a new 30-minute round started. The competitors faced increasingly difficult puzzles from The New York Times as the tournament advanced.
"That last one was terrible," Axtell said.
Daunic said he was pleased with the turnout on Easter weekend. Only two UF students participated this year, but he said next year he would create more age groups so that puzzlers could compete without feeling intimidated.
Bowen-Goldberg said the tournament was fun even though she didn't win.
"It's comforting to know that there are other people in Gainesville who love crossword puzzles," she said.