American Crossword Puzzle Tournament

 Crossword Tournament

Crossword Tournament Program

44th Annual American Crossword Puzzle Tournament
April 1-3, 2022

Jump ahead on this page to: Registration Info | Hotel Reservations | Schedule | Scoring | Who Competes
Prizes | About the Puzzles | The Judges | Stamford | Solving at home
COVID-19 requirements for the tournament are as follows:
  • Proof of full vaccination is required at the door
  • Proof can consist of the vaccination card itself, a photo of the card, or other digital verification
  • Masks will be required when sufficient distance cannot be maintained, such as in the ballroom
  • A full refund can be requested through March 31, 2022 by writing to [email protected]
These requirements can be overridden by the state of Connecticut and the city of Stamford if their guidelines are more restrictive at the time of the tournament.

Requirements are subject to change depending on circumstances closer to the tournament.

REGISTER IN PERSON - You can only register for the live tournament at the door. Register in person at the Marriott on Friday evening (between 7pm and 8 pm) or Saturday morning (9:30 - 11 am). Payment by cash, check or PayPal. No credit cards.

2022 Registration Information

All Events as a Competitor (including Friday)$250*
All Events as a Competitor (beginning Saturday morning)$200*
All Events as a Non-Competitor (including Friday)$195*
All Events as a Non-Competitor (beginning Saturday morning)$145*
Friday Evening Games and Reception Only$  65
Spectator for Sunday Playoffs (starting at 11AM) + Puzzles$  25
*You may deduct $10 from this amount if payment is made and received by March 27.
Refunds will be made if the tournament is canceled or if you have signed up but are unable to attend by writing to [email protected]

Hotel Reservations

The Marriott still has some rooms for Friday night but is sold out of rooms for Saturday night! The Stamford Hotel has opened rooms for ACPT at the same rate as the Marriott - starting at $134/night.

The Marriott will send the shuttle if the weather requires it, but it is a four minute walk if the weather is nice. Check with the Marriott first to make sure there haven't been any cancellations.

The Stamford Marriott Hotel & Spa provides special low guest room rates ($132, single or double occupancy plus ~$15 per night overnight self parking), available for contestants Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights. The rates are $132/night PER ROOM (plus tax) regardless of your choice. This rate is guaranteed through March 17, 2022 (rates afterward subject to room availability). If you need to come early or check out late, please call 800-732-9689 to make arrangements, as this link will only work for Thursday through Sunday. Last day to book is March 17, 2022.

  1. Online: Reservations are available now. Stamford Marriott ACPT Group Rate
  2. By phone: Phone call in your reservation to the Marriott at 1-800-732-9689 and be sure to ask for the Crossword Tournament group rate

Be prepared with the following information:

  1. Group name: American Crossword Puzzle Tournament
  2. Dates: April 1-3, 2022
  3. Number of people and choice single, double w/1 bed, or double w/2 beds
  4. Your name, (firm), address, and who you are sharing with. Note: to avoid duplication, submit one reservation for room shared by two or more people
  5. Arrival date (Thursday, March 17, Friday, April 1, or Saturday, April 2)
  6. Departure date (Sunday, April 3)
  7. Credit card info (number and expiration date)

Note that reservations will be held until 6 pm unless guaranteed for late arrival. Contact Marriott for more information.

Check-in time is 3pm. Check-out time is noon.

If you try to reserve a room before the ACPT block of rooms has been released to the reservation system, you will probably be told that the hotel is sold out, since the ACPT holds as many rooms as possible (sometimes the whole hotel). When the hotel sells out, we have been able to get rooms at the nearby Sheraton Hotel at the same group rate.


Friday, April 1, 2022



Warmup games and entertainment. Featuring:

  • “Behind the Scenes of the Wordle Craze” — remarks by Josh Wardle, the inventor of Wordle
  • “Wordle Contest” (six rounds, conducted live on players' smartphones)
  • “Pick Your Poison” contest — [Round 1:] Cryptic Crossword or Puns & Anagrams; [Round 2:] Split Decisions or a Spiral. Prizes for the top solvers in each combination
10:00PMWine and cheese reception.
11:00PMAwards for all the evening games.
Saturday, April 2, 2022
9:30-11:00AMTournament sign-in (continued)
9:30AM-5PMPuzzle market — Sale of puzzle books and products [in the Pavilion; continues between rounds all day]
11:00AM-12:45PMPuzzles 1, 2, and 3
2:15-4:45PMPuzzles 4, 5, and 6
To be announced Scores will be posted online as they become available

More games and entertainment. Featuring:

  • Palindrome Fight — with Mark Saltveit
  • Fact or Fake? — game by Stan Newman
  • Annual MEmoRiaL award for lifetime achievement in crossword construction — presentation by Marie Haley to Emily Cox and Henry Rathvon, with slide show and live tributes
Sunday, April 3, 2022
9:00AMPuzzle 7
11:00AM-NoonPreview of "Word Nerd," a new musical by Yale students, performed by members of the cast; the full musical will have its premier at Yale at the end of April
Noon-12:30PMPresentation of the prizes, followed by the announcement of the Division A, B, and C playoff contestants
12:30-1:45PMPuzzle 8 — Championship Playoffs. The Division A and B playoffs will be announced jointly by Ophira Eisenberg, comedian and radio host; and composer/puzzlemaker Greg Pliska


Scoring is based on accuracy and speed. Score as follows:

  1. 10 points for every correct word you entered across and down
  2. A bonus of 25 points for each full minute you finished ahead of the suggested solution time — BUT reduced by 25 points for each missing or incorrect letter (but not beyond the point the bonus returns to zero)
  3. A bonus of 150 points for each completely correct solution

For the purpose of scoring, a "word" consists of any series of letters written between black squares in the grid, or between a black square and the border of the grid, whether it is a single word, a phrase, or otherwise.

Complete rules will be explained prior to competition.

Who Competes?

Contestants simultaneously compete in all events for which they are eligible:
Division AEveryone
Division BContestants who have not won a Division A or Division B prize during their last seven tournaments
Division CContestants who have not finished in the top 20% during their last three tournaments
Division DContestants who have not finished in the top 40% during their last three tournaments
Division EContestants who have not finished in the top 65% during their last three tournaments
Age DivisionsSolvers 25 years and under (Juniors), 50-59 years (Fifties), 60-69 years (Sixties), 70-79 (Seventies) and 80+ (Seniors)
Regional DivisionsSolvers in each of 11 geographical regions:
Connecticut, Other New England, New York City, Long Island, Westchester/Upstate New York, New Jersey, Other Mid-Atlantic, South, Midwest, West, Canada/Foreign [map]
RookiesContestants competing for their first time. Rookies are not eligible for "D" or "E" prizes.


Division A1st Prize$5,000
4th-10th (each)Trophy
Division B1st Prize$500
Division C1st Prize$100
Each of Divisions D and E; Juniors, Fifties, Sixties, Seventies, Seniors1st-3rd PrizesTrophy
11 Regional Winners (each) [map]1st & 2nd PrizesTrophy
Rookies1st Prize$500
4th & 5thTrophy

Plus Every prizewinner receives a New York Times crossword collection from St. Martin's Press.

About the Puzzles

All crosswords have been specially created and edited for the tournament.

Sample Puzzles:

The Judges

The judges and referees include leading names in crossword puzzling.

Stamford, CT: Directions and Information

243 Tresser Boulevard
Stamford, Connecticut 06901 USA

Flying Into...
Note: there is no shuttle service between airports and the hotel.

JFK 42 miles. Driving Directions: Take Van Wyck Expressway to Whitestone Bridge. Follow signs to I-95 North to Connecticut. Take I-95 North to Exit 8. Go up two lights, make a left on Canal Street. Second light make a right on Tresser Blvd. Then make first right into Marriott hotel, go to end and make a right into the Marriott Hotel parking garage. Taxi: Estimated $110 cab fare. Shuttle: Royal Club Limo/Connecticut Express Shuttle; fee: 145 USD (one way); reservation required.

LaGuardia - LGA: 35 miles. Driving Directions: Exit airport, take Grand Central Parkway towards Whitestone Bridge. Follow signs to I-95 North to Connecticut. Take I-95 North to Exit 8. Go up two lights, make a left on Canal Street. Second light, make a right on Tresser Blvd. Then make first right into the Marriott Hotel, go to end and make a right into the Marriott Hotel parking garage. Taxi: Estimated $110 cab fare. Shuttle: Alternate transportation: Royal Club Limo/Connecticut Express Shuttle; fee: 135 USD (one way); reservation required.

Westchester County White Plains Airport - HPN: 13 miles. Driving Directions: Take Route 684 South to 287 East. Follow signs for I-95 North to Connecticut. Take I-95 North to exit 8. Go up two lights and make a left on Canal Street. Second light make a right on Tresser Blvd. Then make a right into the Marriott Hotel, go to the end and make a right into the Marriott Hotel parking garage. Taxi: No estimate available. Shuttle: Alternate transportation: Royal Club Limo/Connecticut Express Shuttle; fee: 70 USD (one way); reservation required.

Public Transportation to the Stamford Marriott

The Stamford Marriott hotel is about 0.6 miles from the Metro North New Haven Line Stamford station. There are several economical ways to get to the Marriott from LaGuardia, JFK and Newark airports via public transportation. The Metropolitan Transportation Authority (“MTA”) has a booklet that tells how to connect to the railroad:

Solving At Home

Now you can take part in the American Crossword Puzzle Tournament — and find out how you'd score — from your own home!

  1. On Your Computer: Solve the puzzles online on the weekend of the tournament, or at anytime throughout the year. Standings of online competitors are constantly updated. Click here for details.

  2. By Mail: Receive this year's puzzles (upon completion of the tournament) by mail, solve them and return your solutions to us with your times. We'll judge your puzzles, send you your scores, and tell you your ranking in every event in which you were eligible. To Register, click here.

If you need help, call Michael Smith at 215-266-2802 (
For questions regarding the hotel, call the Stamford Marriott at (203) 357-9555.