Minnesota's first crossword puzzle championship was held Friday night, at the James J. Hill Reference Library in downtown St. Paul, with competitors vying to be the fastest grid-filler in the Gopher State, the Pioneer Press reported.
The contest featured four original crossword puzzles specially created for the tournament by Times crossword editor Will Shortz. Scoring was based on accuracy and speed, the Associated Press reported.
The Minnesota Crossword Tournament was sponsored by the Friends of the St. Paul Public Library. According to the Pioneer Press, the group was inspired to set up the event after watching a 2006 documentary, "Wordplay," about the brainy, competitive people, such as Bill Clinton and Jon Stewart, who are addicted to crosswords and the surprisingly intense drama that the national crossword puzzle tournament can create.
It took less than four minutes for the finalists - Victor Barocas, a University of Minnesota biomedical engineering professor from St. Paul; Amy Ketterling, an administrative assistant from Minneapolis; and Andrew Ries, a professional crossword-puzzle creator from St. Cloud, Minn. - to finish. Barocas then went on to win the tournament.