Comments: More tournament thoughts (Warning: gets sentimental)

Yeah, those headphones are a royal pain in the ass, aren't they?

And seriously, your performance throughout the tournament was amazing to watch. After a couple of puzzles, I was thinking "Well, he's had a great start, but I can catch him on the larger or harder puzzles, probably" -- and then you just kept right on leading the pack. I'm hoping that we can compete side-by-side up there one of these years. If I were up there with you and Al, for example, I'd be thoroughly happy with any of the three of us winning (no offense to the damn punk kid, of course).

Posted by Trip at March 26, 2007 09:26 PM

Sorry, I missed the rest of that, I'm still imagining a reporter asking Al if he's ever been in the finals before and thinking of all the ways that could play out if Al weren't the politest person in the world, non-Howard-Barkin division...

Posted by Ken/Cazique at March 26, 2007 09:29 PM

Ken, I think you just nailed something key about this crowd: we have to have divisions for "nicest person in the world." I mean, you take Al, and Howard, not to mention Squonk -- three of the world's classiest, most decent guys, all in one room.

And Francis, I have to say I got great pleasure from seeing the combination stunned/beaming look on your face when you'd just seen the standings Sunday morning and were calling Rose.

Posted by Kath at March 27, 2007 08:46 AM

Oh, please. Wordplay showed us what a bunch of scheming competitive cutthroat bunch you crossword people are.

Er, I mean, seriously congrats. Michelle and I were both *thrilled* to look at the standings on Sunday and see you in third.

Posted by Lance at March 27, 2007 02:24 PM

Francis, it's always exciting to see a new face in the finals. You had an awesome tournament. Breaking 6 minutes on puzzle 5 was quite an achievement. Congratulations on a great year.

Pencil nerdiness - I'm a fan of the Pentel Twist-Erase. My daring change for the year was to go from .5 lead to .9 lead (kept the leads from breaking during solving and flying across the table hitting someone in the face). Oh yeah, and I only had 4 pencils in my pocket instead of 6 like that embarrassing scene in Wordplay. Let me know if I can get a piece of that Pentel endorsement deal. "Twister! No, Clicker!" Not exactly "Tastes Great, Less Filling", I guess. End pencil nerdiness.

The sad thing about the final is that I actually knew what Secesh meant, but once I put LEVEL in, I was dead, I never even considered that as an iffy entry. I'm not sure why REL didn't set off alarms as a bogus entry, but it didn't. Tyler adds to his legend for figuring that one out. And if Stan's a sadist, and I actually enjoyed the puzzle, that would make me... (quickly erasing very disturbing mental image :-0 )

See you next year in Brooklyn.

Take care, Al

Posted by Al Sanders at March 27, 2007 07:05 PM

Kath: I had a similar feeling of "Awww!" when Rose (followed by Rob - they'd run into each other on the train from Grand Central that morning) BURST through the doors of the Grand Ballroom JUST as Will was taking the mic to begin announcing the Division C finalists. Totally sweet, something out of a movie.

Also, Francis knows this already, but someone already updated his Wikipedia page to include his recent win. How thrilling!!!

Al, did you see this picture?

Posted by Lorinne at March 27, 2007 09:25 PM

How do you know they're not just pretending to be nice so that they can bide their time for as long as necessary, years maybe, before plunging the knife in your back? I mean, they're puzzle people - aren't their minds perfectly honed machines of craftiness and skullduggery?

Posted by CB at March 28, 2007 03:47 AM

Francis, I didn't get a chance to talk to you on Sunday. So a belated hearty "Congratulations!" to you.

Damn, I gotta work harder for next year. *scheming begins*

Posted by Orange at March 28, 2007 09:46 AM

I'd be remiss if I didn't say something about the incredible sweater vest. Supreme work, Lorinne. And it couldn't have been pulled off by just anyone -- it had to be the Tie Project guy.

Posted by Linda G at March 28, 2007 08:59 PM

Linda, thank you so much! I agree. I wouldn't have chosen that combination of colors for *anyone* else. It looks sublime on him. I'm very pleased.

Posted by Lorinne at March 29, 2007 11:16 AM

I have not been here in months, and wandered in today to discover the news about your showing in the big event. Heartfelt congratulations, and to Al, for his showing.


I'm sorry Tyler, but to have gotten secesh takes sort of a sickish man.

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