It’s ACPT season again!

Registration is now open for the American Crossword Puzzle Tournament. Here are some links and facts:

  • The weekend’s program. The Friday night games feature a cryptic crossword tournament this year. A la carte pricing: Friday night games and wine/beer/cheese reception run $80. I sure wish there were a reception-free option because $80 is an awful lot to pay for a cryptic crossword event. (Insert frowny emoticon here.) The crossword tournament will run the usual way. Same as last year, the costly Sunday luncheon has been scrapped in favor of an 11 a.m. talent show followed by the awards presentation (hosted by cartoonist Roz Chast! I love her!) and then the action-packed finals with Reagle/Conan color commentary. The cost for participating in all the Saturday and Sunday events has gone down 10%, to $180; register by March 8 and save an extra $10.
  • Print and mail in a registration form or register online with PayPal.
  • You can book your hotel room online or call the Marriott at 1-800-266-9432 and ask for the Crossword Tournament group rate. Rooms are $203 a night now, up a bit from last year.
  • Airfares may be a good bit higher than last year (at least, they are from Chicago to LaGuardia), so don’t dawdle if you’re flying into New York. Airfares tend not to get cheaper as the travel date approaches.
  • There’s an extra $1,000 in the prize pool. Top prize remains $5,000, but there are now cash prizes for the top three rookies, with #1 getting $300. (See what Will’s doing there? All you fence-sitters who have thought about going to the tournament but never have—now you have a financial inducement. If you think you could finish in the top 40 or so, you have a really good shot at a rookie prize.) I’m not sure which other prizes have been fattened up in the A, B, and C divisions.

Both of my summer vacations in 2010 were to New York City, so I’m looking forward to hitting town again. If you can swing the extra hotel cost and time off work, consider flying in on Thursday or staying until Monday—you’ll miss out on ACPT stuff if you do your city exploration on Friday and Saturday nights, and there’s so much to see!

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19 Responses to It’s ACPT season again!

  1. Jeffrey says:

    Here’s the prize money comparison (2010 in brackets)

    A – 1st – $5000 ($5000); 2nd – $750 ($600); 3rd – $500 ($300)
    B – 1st $300 ($200); 2nd and 3rd didn’t change ($150 & $100)
    C – unchanged at $75-$50-$25.

    So 5 people will get their full registration fees back (top 3 As, top B and top rookie).
    Including hotel and travel, this is not working out as the retirement plan I had hoped for.

  2. joon says:

    hmm. they couldn’t have upped the prize money for 1st/B and RoY a year earlier?

  3. Anne E says:

    Ugh, you’re not kidding about Chicago-NYC airfares this year. Spent about an hour and half last night looking. Finally gave up on finding a price I was willing to pay for the dates/times I wanted, and am flying out of Indianapolis instead. Note to self: Must not forget Indianapolis is in a different time zone than IL… must not forget… will miss flight if I forget…

  4. John Haber says:

    I’m assuming you each have to consume $80 worth of wine or beer that evening. It should be a challenge.

  5. Amy Reynaldo says:

    Joon: Or in 2005?

    Anne: Don’t forget Indiana’s on Eastern time.

  6. Tuning Spork says:

    Ugh! I always assumed the $180 registration fee included the hotel room. Rats, I was planning on attending this year.

    I guess I’ll have to wait for Lollapuzzoola 4 to tournamentize again. :-(

    Unless I want to commute on the train from Connecticut both days. Hmm…

  7. Amy Reynaldo says:

    Spork, a lot of locals do take the train. When it was in Stamford, city people took the train in. Now, the CTians can commute. The hotel is a block or two from about 5 subway lines, so it’s not hard to get there from Grand Central. Take the 4 or 5 to Borough Hall, and Bob’s your uncle.

  8. Tuning Spork says:

    Yes, that’s what I’ll do. Woo hoo!

  9. Jeffrey says:

    The Stamford Marriott has a rate of $119 a night for that weekend. Maybe we should all commute.

  10. Amy Reynaldo says:

    We’d have to commute early and late to take all meals in NYC. Stamford restaurants are pretty unimpressive.

    I priced the Brooklyn Marriott last summer. Rooms were over $300 a night, so $203 is a bargain! (By NYC standards.) I wouldn’t mind a traveling ACPT, but the built-in NY-area hordes wouldn’t all fly elsewhere, and man, a vacation weekend in New York rocks. If the ACPT were held in, say, San Antonio or St. Louis, it’d be like going to Stamford again: spend all your time in the ACPT hotel because what else is there?

  11. janie says:

    these travel tips appeared in yesterday’s nyt. check out #s 2 & 4.

    here’s hopin’ this is of any use to youse guys flyin’ in!


  12. Amy Reynaldo says:

    Thanks, Janie. Quibble with the article: They tout some Delta/Amex club for escaping baggage fees, but don’t mention that Southwest has a “BFF” policy: Bags fly free, up to two per passenger.

  13. Nancy S-3 says:

    Amy, JetBlue flies one bag free also.

  14. Neville says:

    Well if I weren’t already coming, now I am for sure! Thank goodness Joon’s out of the picture for RotY :D

  15. HumbleRookie says:

    I just registered! Completed the online registration, booked my hotel room and flight, all in under six minutes. So why can’t I say the same for today’s puzzles??

  16. Pauer says:

    Careful what you say about STL. You woudn’t want to develop any Arch enemies, would you?

    Seriously, tho, the City Museum alone is reason enough to visit. It’s incredible.

  17. Karen says:

    Any way to find a roommate for the ACPT? My usual roommate isn’t going this year.

  18. Amy Reynaldo says:

    Karen, you could try posting a note in the ACPT Rooms and Rides page at the forum.

  19. Gary K says:

    I was dismayed to realize that the discount hotel rate does not apply on Sunday night (for those who would want to stay over and make an early Monday departure). With some internet sleuthing I’ve located a considerably better deal at the Sheraton Brooklyn, which is just a few blocks away.

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