Rules for 2024
Finger Lakes Crossword Competition

These rules will not be reviewed at the event.

  • All puzzles will be in the NY Times “daily” style.
  • All puzzles will be 15×15.
    • There are three different puzzles ranked using the NY Times system of daily increases in difficulty as graded by our puzzle constructor, Adam G. Perl.
      • Monday/Tuesday (Easier), Wednesday (Trickier) and Thursday/Friday (Toughest) .
  • All contestants must be seated 10 minutes prior to the start of the competition.
  • Pick up your game envelope at the registration desk. Be sure the label and stickers on the outside of your envelope are correct.
  • Everyone will begin at the same time. Please do not open the sealed folder before the start is announced. Contestants will be given exactly 60 minutes to solve their puzzle. Once you’ve been instructed to open your envelope, be sure your individual or team name is on the puzzle.
  • The winners will be the first individuals or teams to finish their perfect puzzle in the allotted time.
  • Please print your answers clearly and legibly. If any letter is not clear, it may be disqualified.
  • When finished, loudly say “Done!”, and raise your hand holding only one completed puzzle.
  • No writing is allowed after you’ve raised your hand. A monitor will note the time. Return the completed puzzle to the folder and hand it to the monitor.
  • Once you’ve raised your hand, please remain seated and silent until your entry has been picked up by a monitor.
  • You may remain seated or go quietly to pick up additional crossword puzzles to solve while waiting, use the restrooms, or get refreshments.
  • Only official monitors or judges may approach a table while the competition is in progress.
  • Any use of cell phones, electronic devices, reference tools or outside help of any kind may lead to disqualification.
  • All completed, correct puzzles will receive a Certificate of Perfect Completion.
  • All disputes will be decided by our official judge, Adam Perl.
  • All puzzles are copyrighted and may not be used or reproduced without express written consent.

Procedures for Day of Competition

  • Go to registration table, sign in and get your color-coded, sealed folder. Team envelopes will have two colored dots.
  • Levels will be identified by color: Monday/Tuesday (Easier) puzzles are Green. Wednesday (Trickier) puzzles are Blue. Thursday/Friday (Toughest) puzzles are Pink (or Red).
  • Be sure you are signed up for the correct level and your individual or team name is on the envelope. (Pencils will be on the tables.)
  • You will be assigned a team table or individual seat by a monitor.
  • Individual players will be sharing tables.
  • Contestants may take their assigned seats after registering. (We will also announce when all contestants must take their seats.)
  • There will be a designated area where spectators, friends and competitors can wait.
  • Room for spectators is very limited. Please remain silent during the competition.
  • Monitors will be wearing identifying badges and Mardi Gras beads.
  • The rules will not be reviewed at the event. Please be sure you are familiar with them before we start.
  • If there is a question, please ask one of the monitors. If they can’t help you, they will direct you to Gary Weissbrot or Adam Perl.
  • All winners will be announced after all the puzzles have been checked.

QUESTIONS? Contact Event Chairperson Gary Weissbrot at