Our Twelfth 

Annual Competition will be held this year on:


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We are very proud to dedicate this year’s event to Dave Smith, who is retiring after

25 years as TLP’s Executive Director. This is a much earned recognition and

appreciation of his leadership, guidance, and friendship.

Crossword Competition Basics

COMPETITION DATE & TIME: Saturday, September 28th, 2024, 1-4PM.

IN PERSON: Boynton Middle School, Ithaca, NY.

INDIVIDUAL & TEAM PLAY: 2, 3, or 4 on a team.

THREE LEVELS OF DIFFICULTY: Easier, Trickier, Toughest.

REGISTRATION FEE: $50/Player but pay whatever you are comfortable with.

CHARITY FUNDRAISER: All proceeds support adult literacy.

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Crossword Competition Details


Competition is open to individuals and teams (2, 3, or 4 players). All teams, regardless of number of players, will be competing against each other at their chosen level of difficulty.

Three levels of difficulty: Easier (NYT Monday), Trickier (NYT Thursday), and Toughest (NYT Saturday).

Every individual player and team will be given a puzzle to solve at their chosen level of difficulty.

The complete set of RULES for this competition can be viewed HERE.


SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 28th, 2024 All times US Eastern Daylight Time (EDT)

1:00 pm Doors open (Please do not arrive before 1:00). Registration and check-in, coffee, tea, practice crosswords, and camaraderie.

1:30 pm Check-in for pre-registered players and registration for unregistered players ends. Pre-registered players must check in at the desk,

2:00 pm Competition starts.

3:00 pm Competition ends.

3:00 pm Puzzles checked by judges. You may remain seated or go quietly to pick up additional crossword puzzles to solve while waiting, use the restrooms, or get refreshments.

3:15 pm Winners of the Crossword Competition announced and prizes awarded.

4:00 pm Annual Finger Lakes Crossword Competition ends.


To determine your difficulty level of competition, practice on these puzzles from previous Finger Lakes Crossword Competitions. Download puzzles HERE.


Players not able to participate in-person will have the opportunity to solve Adam Perl’s original puzzles at home and compare their times to our winners. You’ll find more information HERE. (Sorry, there are no virtual prizes.)


The names and finishing times of the winners will be announced at the end of the event. The winners, and the names and finishing times of all Perfect Puzzlers, will be posted on the “Winners” page on our website after the event. CrosswordCompetition.com/winners

Prizes will be awarded to the top three individuals and teams who complete perfect puzzles in the shortest amount of time.

All winners will receive a Winner’s Certificate, a Merl Reagle Crossword book, and, drumroll please, the coveted and unique FLCC Championship Bracelet. View prizes HERE.


Adam G. Perl: Constructor of over thirty crosswords published in The New York Times.


Email event Chairperson Gary Weissbrot at CrosswordCompetition@hotmail.com

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Registration Info

Please carefully read the following instructions before registering.

We will be continuing our very popular “Pay what you can comfortably afford.” It guaranteed that anybody who wished to participate, could. So, again, to all who wish to play, join us!

We have included our “Suggested” amount, $50/Player, but feel free to put the payment that is most convenient into the “Donation” box. (Please remember that this is a fundraiser for Tompkins Learning Partners.)

Registration includes the entry amount and a fee for online credit card processing and handling. Your payment of this fee allows Tompkins Learning Partners to receive 100% of the entry amount for your registration.

Online registration will close at 9:00 p.m. on Friday, September 27th. Registration on site at the event will be available until 1:30 p.m. on Saturday, September 28th.

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If solving at home, what’s to prevent someone from Googling or using a dictionary? There is a 10th Circle of Hell for people who cheat at a charity event when there isn’t even any cash involved. (Does that answer your question?)

Help! I registered but never received an email confirmation. STOP WHATEVER YOU ARE DOING. Email us immediately at CrosswordCompetition@hotmail.com and we’ll fix it tout suite.

Can I, or my team, take a short break between puzzles? If solving at home, of course. Short break, long break, take a week. The puzzles are for your enjoyment. If you’re on a team, be sure ALL team members stop and start together.

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Help Support Adult Literacy

This event is an important fundraiser for Tompkins Learning Partners, a LiteracyNY affiliated non-profit organization, which provides literacy tutoring, free of charge, for over 100 adults in our community.

100% of all proceeds from the competition will support adult literacy Tompkins County, New York.

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Our Supporters

Our Underwriters and Donors have made this wonderful event possible. Thank you sincerely.


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