American Crossword Puzzle Tournament

 Crossword Tournament

Virtual Crossword Tournament Program

This page contains information for 2023.
The next Tournament will be April 5-7, 2024

45th Annual American Crossword Puzzle Tournament
March 31 - April 2, 2023

Jump ahead on this page to: Registration Info | Where do I go to solve and watch the live stream? | Schedule | Scoring | Who Competes | Pairs | Prizes | Puzzles | Constructors | The Team

2023 Registration Information

Solo Solver$ 70
Pairs Solvers$ 80
Refunds will be made if you are unable to participate by writing to [email protected] prior to the tournament beginning.

Where do I go to solve and watch the live stream?

Go to ACPTONLINE.COM after you have registered for FAQs on solving, Sample puzzles, links to the live stream during the tournament weekend and more. Don't miss the Friday night games and entertainment!


Friday, March 31, 2023

An evening of warm-up puzzles and entertainment:

  • “Anigrams, a New Puzzle Addiction” — introduced by its inventor, Adam Wagner. Followed by five rounds of Anigrams, conducted live on players' smartphones
  • “Crosswords at The Times of London” — remarks by Mick Hodgkin, puzzle editor at the newspaper
  • Times of London Crossword Contest — featuring an unpublished puzzle. Solve it either with hints or without (your choice)
  • “Puzzle Potpourri" contest — five unpublished puzzles from Games World of Puzzles. Do as many as you can!
10:00PMWine and cheese reception.
11:00PMAwards for all the evening games.
Saturday, April 1, 2023
11:00AM-12:45PMPuzzles 1, 2, and 3 - live stream and online solving
2:15-4:45PMPuzzles 4, 5, and 6 - live stream and online solving
Scores will be posted online as they become available

Evening program:

  • Audience participation word and trivia games (more details to follow)
  • Annual Merl Reagle MEmoRiaL Award for lifetime achievement in crossword construction — presentation by Marie Haley to Rich Norris, with film and live tributes.
Sunday, April 2, 2023
9:00AMPuzzle 7 - live stream and online solving
11:00AM-NoonTo be announced
Noon-12:30PMLive stream - Presentation of the prizes, followed by the announcement of the Division A, B, and C playoff contestants
12:30-1:45PMLive stream - Puzzle 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. 1 bonus point for every 2 seconds the contestant finishes early BUT this bonus is reduced by 30 points for each letter that is omitted or entered incorrectly, up to, but not beyond, the point the bonus returns to zero
  3. A bonus of 150 points for each completely correct solution
  4. A solution that is not submitted before your timer reaches 0:00 will receive a score of zero.

For the purpose of scoring, a "word" consists of any series of letters contained in the white squares in the grid, whether it is a single word, a phrase, or otherwise.

Complete rules can be found on the virtual tournament FAQs page.

Who Competes?

Contestants simultaneously compete in all events for which they are eligible:
Age DivisionsSolvers 25 years and under (Juniors), 50-59 years (Fifties), 60-69 years (Sixties), 70-79 (Seventies) and 80+ (Seniors)
RookiesContestants competing for their first time.
PairsContestants competing as a couple.

How does Pairs solving work?

  • There is only one member login with Solver credentials
    • If you are not together, you can both log into the site with the same username and password to access the puzzles
  • Only one solver will submit the puzzle
    • If the pair is not together, the second solver can also work the puzzle.  Both solvers will begin by accessing the live puzzle link from this site.
    • Both team members will communicate through some means - by being in the same room, or by phone, Facetime, Google hangout, whatever you find easiest!
    • Only the solver submitting the puzzle enters their email address after solving.  The second solver should NOT submit their puzzle when done.  If a second solver inadvertently hits the submit button, just enter "i[email protected]" as your email address or just close your browser.
    • You can switch off who the "designated puzzle submitter" is between puzzles as long as you stick to a single agreed-upon email address for submitting.


The virtual competition is for fun only. Virtual solvers are not eligible for any of the live tournament prizes.

About the Puzzles

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

Sample Puzzles:

The Constructors

Constructors are listed alphabetically

  • Kevin Christian
  • Kameron Austin Collins
  • Sam Ezersky
  • Joel Fagliano
  • Christina Iverson
  • Lynn Lempel
  • Andrea Carla Michaels
  • Mike Shenk
  • Robyn Weintraub

Photo Gallery of Constructors and Officials

The Team

Dave Sullivan, ACPT - Virtual Tournament Director

John Temple, Amuse Labs - Live Stream Host

Alhassan Mohamed - Live Stream Provider

Amuse Labs staff - Help Desk Team

If you need help, email (