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Bronxville Puzzle Solver Readies For Crossword Competition

Arnold Reich of Bronxville.
Arnold Reich of Bronxville. Photo Credit: Submitted

BRONXVILLE, N.Y. -- Arnold Reich of Bronxville said one of his claims to fame was participating in the B-level crossword puzzle playoff in 2005 when the documentary "Wordplay" about the American Crossword Puzzle Tournament and its founder, Will Shortz, New York Times crossword puzzle editor, was filmed in Stamford.

"It was a thrill to be solving on a whiteboard in front of more than 500 people," he said. "I have a brief appearance in the movie: Will introduces the fifth puzzle of the tournament, traditionally the most difficult, and says, 'This one will really rip your heart out.' The camera shows my reaction, grinning in anticipation of the challenge."

Now, Reich is going back to Stamford for the tournament's annual competition that since 2006 (and the success of "Wordplay") had been moved to Brooklyn. 

"I enjoyed the Brooklyn venue but am glad to be back in my hometown and the historic home of this tournament," he said.

The event this weekend at the Stamford Marriott beginning with a warm-up competition from 8-10 p.m. Friday with pioneering Multimedia Crosswords, solved on iPads, in which more than half the clues contain video, audio or picture elements. This will be followed by a wine-and-cheese reception.

The tournament officially starts at 11 a.m. Saturday with three crosswords in the morning, three in the afternoon, and one more Sunday morning. The puzzles are all from top puzzle makers and range from easy to hard.

Contestants score points for accuracy and speed and prizes are awarded in 21 categories -- for skill level, age, and geography -- with additional prizes for the top rookies. First prize is $5,000.

On Saturday night, the directors of "Wordplay" will discuss the movie and feature show outtakes. 

About 600-700 partipicants are expected to attend.

Go here for event details, including ways to play online or by mail.


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