Crossworld – Marc Romano (2005)

If, like me, you’re into the New York Times crossword puzzle, then this is the book for you! Marc Romano centers his book Crossworld on the 2004 American Crossword Puzzle Tournament, held in Stamford, CT Marriott Hotel (described as “nestled amid the surrounding landscape of vacant parking lots and deserted office complexes”). We learn lots about NYT crossword editor Will Shortz (who took over in ’93), various crossword ‘constructors,’ some history of crosswords and British cryptics, and lots more crossword trivia (isn’t that what crosswords are all about?).

The folks who go to these tournaments can finish very hard crossword puzzles at incredible speeds; some weeks I struggle with a Friday or Saturday puzzle for hours, and these folks can finish them in 10 minutes or less! Romano himself is quite good, and in his rookie try comes in at about the middle of the 500-strong pack. I see that in 2005 a 20-year-old won the Tournament!

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