This Saturday, August 17, marks the twelfth edition of the Lollapuzzoola crossword puzzle tournament!
If you haven’t heard — and seriously, how have you not heard by now?! — Lollapuzzoola is an independent crossword tournament run by constructors and puzzle aficionados Brian Cimmet and Patrick Blindauer. The tournament features puzzles constructed with a more freewheeling style than those found at the more traditional American Crossword Puzzle Tournament.
As they say, it’s “the best tournament held in New York on a Saturday in August.”
The format is similar to BosWords. Competitors are placed in one of four divisions: Express (solvers with tournament experience), Local (other solvers), Rookies, and Pairs.
With a warm-up puzzle, the five official tournament puzzles, and the championship finale puzzle, you’re guaranteed to get your money’s worth as you solve. These puzzles crackle with style, both fun and befuddling in how often they revitalize and reinvent classic crossword tropes.
And for those who reach the top of mountain, “winners in each division are awarded prizes, which could range from a box of used pencils to a brand new car. So far, no one has ever won a car.”
Although registration is closed for actually attending the tournament — though there is a waiting list — fret not!
The At-Home Division is open for any and all solvers to enjoy from the comfort of your home. For $15, you’ll receive the tournament puzzles the next day for your enjoyment (or frustration, depending on the difficulty).
Just look at the constructors involved in this year’s tournament! Stella Zawistowski, Mike Nothnagel, C.C. Burnikel, Maddie Gillespie, Paolo Pasco, Robyn Weintraub, and Doug Peterson. I can’t wait to see what they cook up for the competitors!
It should be a great time, either in person or for solvers at home. Lollapuzzoola is truly one of the highlights of the puzzle calendar.
Are you planning on attending Lollapuzzoola 12 or solving from home? Let me know! I’d love to hear from you!
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