Crossword-puzzle competition set for April 21

VIDEO: Scenes from last year’s crossword-puzzle competition at Poland Library. Video courtesy of Homeplate Media, LLC.

Crossword enthusiasts will have another opportunity to showcase their puzzle prowess beginning at 10 a.m. on Saturday, April 21 at the Public LIbrary of Youngstown and Mahoning County’s Crossword Puzzle Challenge.

The event, now in its second year, will be at the Poland Library and will begin with a children’s round at 10 a.m. and the adult competition will commence at 10:30 a.m.

The event consists of three rounds in which contestants compete by solving an unpublished New York Times crossword during timed, 20-minute increments, per round. The three winners of the preliminary rounds then complete a final, playoff puzzle. Solving references and outside help are not permitted during any of the rounds.

The final round is conducted on large easels that face the crowd, so the audience may observe the contestants compete for the final prize.

The winner is determined by the accuracy of solution, and – if necessary – the solving time will be used a factor to break a tied score.

Tyler Clark, event chairman, was inspired to develop the event two years ago after watching the documentary “Wordplay.”

“I became aware of the vast word puzzle culture in the country. After that, my occasional puzzle habit turned into a serious focus, and now I do at least three crosswords a day,” Clark said.

“It’s an unusual event for us, in that most of the programs we offer are for free, but we had such a great turnout last year, it’s clear the community is eager to come out and show support for the library while having fun at the same time,” said Deborah Liptak, library development director.

The event committee includes Natalie Lariccia, John Slanina, and Jack and Sandy Slanina. The event sponsors are WYSU, Park Vista of Youngstown and St. Elizabeth Health Center Neurosciences Department; and event partners are The Vindicator, Metro Monthly, Covelli Enterprises/Panera Bread and The Business Journal.

Registration for adult tournament is $10, and the children’s registration fee is $5. The children’s fun round will consist of a creative, kid-friendly puzzle.

Registration forms are available at all library locations in Mahoning County. Participants may mail completed forms to Development Office, Main Library, 305 Wick Ave., Youngstown, Ohio 44503. For more information or for sponsorship opportunities, contact the library’s development office at 330-740-6086, extension 51630.

© 2012 The Metro Monthly and Homeplate Media, LLC. All rights reserved.

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