American Crossword Puzzle Tournament

Crossword Tournament

32nd ACPT • February 27-March 1, 2009
Tyler Hinman
Don Christensen
Champion Tyler Hinman with Will Shortz


  1. Tyler Hinman
  2. Trip Payne
  3. Francis Heaney
  4. Dan Feyer
  5. Al Sanders
  6. Jon Delfin
  7. Howard Barkin
  8. Anne Erdmann
  9. Amy Reynaldo
  10. Katherine Bryant

See Results by Rank

B division

  1. Dan Feyer
  2. Dan Katz
  3. Len Elliott

Full B Division Results

C division

  1. Mark Dixon
  2. Roberta Strauss
  3. Jerry Cordaro

Full C Division Results

See left panel for all results. Updated 3/22/09

Capsule History

Don Christensen
Bloggers panel

Thanks to a new computer program by Matt Ginsberg, the contestants' solutions were marked by judges with special pens and then scanned into a computer for automatic scoring. Contestants could visit the tournament website to see scans of their own puzzles to check for accuracy of the judging and satisfy their curiosity. The Friday night program included a panel discussion on "Blogging Crosswords," with Amy Reynaldo (a k a Crossword Fiend), Michael Sharp (Rex Parker), Ryan Hecht/Brian Cimmet (of Ryan and Brian Do Crosswords), and Jim Horne (of Wordplay). Tetsuya Miyamoto, the inventor of KenKen, introduced the new Japanese logic puzzle, and Amanda Yesnowitz sang an original parody about it. This was followed by a KenKen contest. Tyler Hinman, still officially a Junior, won his fifth straight ACPT in a nail-biting come-from-behind playoff victory. Robert Irvine, a celebrity chef for the Food Network, prepared the awards lunch. The lunch and the tournament as a whole were filmed for an episode of "Dinner: Impossible," to be aired in May.

Will Shortz

Capsule history of all 32 years.


To purchase a DVD of the tournament for only $5, provided by Nancy Shack, click the "Buy DVD" button. It's 2h 10 min and has the talk by Tetsuya Miyamoto, Blogger's Panel, KenKen Song, Finals, Awards, and other stuff. Or you can email, who will accepts checks and green stamps.


Pictures from the Tournament


Solving Perfection

The following 49 contestants solved all 7 puzzles with no mistakes.

John Beck, Janet Bradlow, Adam Cohen, Marisa Cohen, Frank Colangelo, Stella Daily, Jon Delfin, Len Elliott, Dan Feyer, Leslie Frates, Thomas Gazzola, Amy Goldstein, Peter Gordon, Rolf Hamburger, Brent Hartzell, Patricia Heath, Tyler Hinman, Doug Hoylman, Will Johnston, Richard Kalustian, Dan Katz, Stephen Kawalek, Joshua Kosman, John LaMattina, Andrew Laurence, Elaine Lippman, Frank Longo, Eric Maddy, Phoebe McBee, John McNeill, Bill Michaels, Jan O'Sullivan, Trip Payne, Bob Petitto, Arnold Reich, Amy Reynaldo, Al Sanders, Suzanne Saunders, Ken Stern, Roberta Strauss, Steve Tice, Jennifer Turney, Mary Ann Wamsley, Larry Wasser, Thomas Weisswange, John Wilson, Brian Levinson, Howard Friedman, Francis Heaney.

More stuff

In the News

Officials — 2009

DirectorWill Shortz
CoordinatorHelene Hovanec
WebmasterDoug Heller
Scoring ProgrammerMatt Ginsberg
Database PreparerJoe Cabrera
Online Tournament ManagerPeter Ritmeester
PhotographerDon Christensen
NametagsMike Shenk
Playoff AnnouncersNeal Conan and Merl Reagle
Special GuestTetsuya Miyamoto
Judges and referees (in alphabetical order)
Deb Amlen, Doug Ashleigh, Augustine Bartning, Ken Bessette, Maxine Bleiweis, Jessica Bozarth, Erica Byrne, Melissa Casey, Carol Cate, Yang-Yang Chen, Robert Colsom, Liz Donovan, Evie Eysenburg, Vic Fleming, Ethan Friedman, Paula Gamache, Bonnie Gentry, Matt Ginsberg, Maru Gonzalez, Elizabeth Gorski, Doug Heller, Helene Hovanec, Todd Hovanec, Joan Hume, Marvin Hume, Maura Jacobson, Jamaica Jones, Casey Julia, David Kahn, Linda Kahn, Eleanor Kohn, Susan Kohn, Joan Kuhn, Elizabeth Lang, Joel Lang, Jeff Levene, Pat Merrell, Andrea Carla Michaels, Bob Nacht, Irmari Nacht, Stan Newman, Jim Page, Nancy Parsons, Fred Piscop, Brendan Quigley, Bob Rattner, Merl Reagle, Laurie Resnick, David Rosen, Randy Ross, Laurie Ruben, Sara Sadin, Nancy Schuster, Mike Shenk, Rich Silvestri, Michael Smith, Allison Somers, Donna Tessitore, Jessica Tran, Ashish Vengsarkar, Bruce Venzke, Byron Walden, Susan West, and Brad Wilber, Jen Yuan