March 02, 2008

Quick crossword tournament update

A slightly disappointing year, but not too disappointing. I was in 3rd place after puzzle 6, three minutes ahead of Trip Payne in 4th, so pretty much assured a place in the finals unless I screwed up massively. Unfortunately for me, that's just what I did, making an error in puzzle 7 that I really should have caught. The spread in solving times was enough that I only fell to 7th place, which is a pretty high finish for having an error, and is in fact my second highest finish ever. So, not a disaster, and my solving times were fast enough that I'm reassured that my finish last year wasn't a fluke -- which makes me feel fairly sanguine about my error, really, because now it feels like I'll be in contention for the finals again at some point or points, so I don't need to sweat one mistake.

And honestly, when I got my copy of the final puzzle in the audience, I was slightly relieved that I didn't have to solve it in front of everyone, because it was just as evil as last year's final. It took me 17 minutes to solve it without the stress of being on stage (and I had two squares wrong). So that also eased the sting a bit.

One of several highlights of the weekend: playing Aunt Millie's Millions after hours on Friday. It's a game in which players take the parts of one of eight money-grubbing heirs out to get the most valuable items from Aunt Millie's estate. (Backstories for each character get created on the fly at the very beginning of the game.) When two players want the same item, they select a judge and each try, in character, to convince the judge why they deserve the item. I played an entitled latte-swilling nephew in the first game, winning a grandfather clock with my impassioned description of how I talked my beloved Aunt Millie out of succumbing to heart arrhythmia by insisting she listen to the ticking of the clock, and Millie's 124-year-old uncle in the second, winning a $1,000 goldfish by declaring my willingness to kill for it ("I fought in a war! I killed a man who was standing no further from me than you are right now! It wasn't illegal! It was a war! I could kill anyone I liked!") Too much fun. Thanks to my friend Scott Weiss for continuing to introduce me to excellent games -- and congratulations to him for his 10th-place finish (his highest yet, I believe)!

Another highlight: Eric Berlin's multipuzzle crossword extravaganza from Friday night. It's not up yet, but I'm told he'll be posting it to his blog before too long.

Posted by Francis at 11:20 PM
Comments

You did good, kid.

I did the Klahn in twelveish minutes with no errors. Damn, I need to avoid errors and get faster overall!

Posted by: Orange at March 3, 2008 10:37 AM

Having connection issues this morning so hoping this works: congratulations! You (and Orange) are amazing. As I tried to say before, my notes from the nether regions of somewhere-slightly-above-the-middle-of-the-pack: I did the C clues (I'm a mere mortal, after all!) and wound up between the 2nd and 3rd C finalists time-wise - now I just need to jump up a couple hundred slots to get a crack at a big board! Great to see you - Tony

Posted by: Tony Orbach at March 3, 2008 11:07 AM

Congrats! you took your puzzle 7 error better than I took mine in the analogous situation. (Except mine was for the C finals. In 2002. And I'm still talking about it, apparently.)

Posted by: Ken at March 3, 2008 11:12 AM

If it had happened last year, I would have been crushed, I think. This year I'm able to be more philosophical about it, having been in the finals once.

Note that this doesn't necessarily mean I won't still be talking about this error in 2014.

Posted by: Francis at March 3, 2008 12:00 PM

I wondered what happened to you, since when I checked the standings at 10:30 yesterday morning, I saw you were in 3rd place and got so excited for you. Oh well -- there's always next year.

Posted by: Debby at March 3, 2008 05:53 PM

Glad you liked playing Aunt Millie's Millions. I'm resigned to not being much good at improv, but I certainly enjoyed watching you embody your character.

And, yes, 10th is my best placement ever. w00t!

Posted by: Scott W at March 4, 2008 09:26 AM

Since there is only one person in the background of The Brain Trust in this tournament recap, and that person finished in a VERY respectable 7th place, you'd think that person would be identified.

Posted by: Charles at March 5, 2008 11:45 AM

I just wanted to thank you for the area guide. It helped us with some navigation and also with finding two very good meals (Hot Bagels and Taze) during the tournament. Much appreciated.

Posted by: Jerry at March 10, 2008 09:40 PM

I used this strategy if we went to any Improv. I found myself setting my feet with the drink station on the stools We were on and additionally had no idea about I'd been bending the various sequins, I had been disappointed throughout myself. If only world of warcraft were being leg top.

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