American Crossword Puzzle Tournament

Crossword Tournament

35th ACPT • March 16-18, 2012

NOTE: All queries and challenges are being addressed. Puzzle scans (see left) will be available through December and then permanently removed. All available scans are posted.

Tournament Victor Dan Feyer
3-time winner Dan Feyer!


  1. Dan Feyer
  2. Tyler Hinman
  3. Anne Erdmann
  4. David Plotkin
  5. Al Sanders
  6. Francis Heaney
  7. Howard Barkin
  8. Joon Pahk
  9. Stella Zawistowski
  10. Ellen Ripstein

See Results by Rank

B division

  1. John Beck
  2. John Wilson
  3. Erik Agard

Full B Division Results

C division

  1. Guy Tabachnick
  2. Andy Kravis
  3. Jason Keller

Full C Division Results

See left panel for all results.
Rankings updated at 3/21/2012 10:40:07 PM

Capsule History


Dr. Fill, Matt Ginsberg's crossword-solving program, was the talk of the tournament. It was the subject of a front-page article in the New York Times. On Saturday night Matt gave a demonstration of Dr. Fill's performance on Puzzles #1-#6. Everyone who outscored Dr. Fill on Puzzles #1-#7 won an "I Beat Dr. Fill" button. In the end Dr. Fill was slammed by Puzzles #2 and #5, but still finished impressively in 141st place. Other highlights of the weekend were the 1st World Palindrome Championship (won by Mark Saltveit) and a PuzzleNation team puzzle-solving extravaganza by Eric Berlin and Jeffrey Harris. Liane Hansen, former host of NPR's "Weekend Edition Sunday," and composer/puzzlemaker Greg Pliska provided the playoff commentary.

Will Shortz

Capsule history of all previous years.

Pictures and Videos



In the News

Solving Perfection

The following 37 contestants solved all 7 puzzles with no mistakes.

Erik Agard, Benjamin Aisen, John Beck, Jonathan Berman, Peter Braxton, Catherine Cevoli, Kathie Conarck, Vicki Eastus, Steve Feldberg, Adam Gale, Amy Goldstein, Peter Gordon, Peter Gwinn, Rolf Hamburger, Randy Harris, Francis Heaney, Tyler Hinman, Doug Hoylman, Stephen Kawalek, Louis Lana, Phoebe McBee, Laetitia Morgan, David Plotkin, Arnold Reich, John Reid, Ellen Ripstein, Al Sanders, Andrew Silikovitz, Jeff Stacey, Ken Stern, Andrew Sullivan, Guy Tabachnick, Melissa Tsai, Lawrence Wasser, Thomas Weisswange, John Wilson, Stella Zawistowski.

Officials — 2012

DirectorWill Shortz
CoordinatorHelene Hovanec
WebmasterDoug Heller
Scoring ProgrammerMatt Ginsberg
Database PreparerJoe Cabrera
Online Tournament ManagerPeter Ritmeester
PhotographerDon Christensen
NametagsMike Shenk
Playoff BoardsDoug Ashleigh
Playoff AnnouncersLiane Hansen and Greg Pliska
Judges and referees (in alphabetical order)
Brett Alcott, Doug Ashleigh, Patrick Blindauer, Jessica Bozarth, Allison Broad, Jeff Chen, Yang-Yang Chen, Kevin Der, John Dunn, Phil Esocoff, Vic Fleming, Charles Foreman, Ethan Friedman, Paula Gamache, Albert Gardella, Kelly Anne Gardella, Bonnie Gentry, Mangesh Ghogre, Liz Gorski, Judy Harris, Jeremy Horwitz, Kristian House, Jamaica Jones, David Kahn, Fran Kaplan, Marilyn Kelly, Ellie Kotz, Joan Kuhn, Donna Levin, Steve Levy, Randie Lipkin, Ian Livengood, Aimee Lucido, Patrick Merrell, Mala Nagarajan, Stan Newman, Mike Nothnagel, Evan O’Donnell, Jim Page, Ben Pall, Nancy Parsons, Fred Piscop, David Quarfoot, Brendan Emmett Quigley, Merl Reagle, Laurie Resnick, Jon Richman, Sara Sadin, Steve Salitan, Mike Shenk, Jordan Siff, Rich Silvestri, Michael Smith, Sean Smith, Janie Smulyan, Karen Spinozzi, Lloyd Stableford, Sally Syberg, Susan Talbutt, Jen Tanner, Donna Tessitore, Jessica Tran, Ashish Vengsarkar, Bruce Venzke, Emily Volz, Brittany Wald, Joey Weissbrot, Jen Yuan