Co-founder of the Crossword puzzle tournament Indie 500, Andy Kravis, has won the Lollapuzzoola 10 Express Division, taking first place in the event’s most seasoned solvers.
Kravis took the stage in the Championship final, competing against Eric Maddy and Glen Ryan after besting over 200 fellow puzzlers. The final round is held as a timed event, and the first competitor to successfully solve the Crossword wins the tournament. Kravis would go on to take first place, leaving the other two solvers scrabbling for words to cross.
The final three aren’t by any means slouches to the Crossword solving scene, with Kravis, Maddy, and Ryan finishing eleventh, twelfth, and sixteenth in the venerable American Crossword Puzzle Tournament, respectively.
Following a fifth place finish in last year’s tournament, Kravis is excited about the win but being with the puzzle community was the best part.
“[Seeing] everyone (and meeting a ton of xword-quaintances) was the absolute best,” wrote Kravis. “[Winning] the dang thing was icing.”
The Local Division was won by Simon McAndrews, while over in the Pairs Division Michael Sharp and Penelope Harper came out on top. First-time tournament goer Matthew Gritzmacher left all of the other newcomers behind, winning the Rookie Division.
Poor, poor Chris King walks away with the Worst Handwriting award.
The five Crosswords from the main tournament were constructed by Evan Birnholz, Patrick Blindauer, Francis Heaney, Mike Nothnagel, and Doug Peterson. Sam Donaldson provided the puzzle used in the finals that was attempted by Kravis, Maddy, and Ryan.
Competition for Lollapuzzoola 10 hasn’t wrapped up quite yet, puzzles for the At-Home Division have been emailed out to all of those that have registered.
Top-10 Point Express Division Finishers
- Andy Kravis: 15,465 pts.
- Glen Ryan: 15,440 pts.
- Eric Maddy: 15,435 pts.
- Stella Zawistowski: 15,420 pts.
- Katie Hamill: 15,320 pts.
- Dan Katz: 15,230 pts.
- Louis Lana: 15,220 pts.
- Chris Adams: 15,220 pts.
- Jon Delfin: 15,205 pts.
- Sam Ezersky: 15,115 pts.