Every year since 1978, crossword puzzlers from all walks of life have come together to compete in the world's largest crossword puzzle tournament, the ACPT, founded and directed by the one and only Will Shortz. This year, nearly 600 contestants squeezed themselves into a banquet hall at the Brooklyn Bridge Marriott and over the course of three days, lived, breathed, worshipped, and on occasion, swore at the mighty crossword.
Some puzzlers had come for the first time, like Glen Ryan and Aaron Wilson. Many came together, including the father-daughter team of Steven and Bethanie Perskie. Others were veterans and legends in their own right, like Ellen Ripstein, Al Sanders, Jon Delfin, and Miriam Raphael. And of course there were those puzzlers that even the crosswords themselves were afraid of, such as Dan Feyer, Anne Erdmann, Tyler Hinman, Francis Heaney, and Stella Zawistowski. But regardless of whether a player came to win it all, finish the puzzle, beat their times from last year, or just to meet and hang out with ACPT friends, there was one thing in particular that all the puzzlers had in common: a sense of true camaraderie.