B-Y-E: Crossword tourney leaves Connecticut

/ Source: The Associated Press

Synonym for farewell. Seven letters.


That’s the word from the American Crossword Puzzle Tournament, whose organizers have announced it will leave the southern Connecticut city of Stamford for New York after completing its 30th annual contest there this weekend.

The move was necessary because the tournament, which debuted in 1978, gained widespread interest after the release last year of the documentary “Wordplay,” which included footage from the 2005 event.

The documentary was nominated for the Sundance Film Festival’s Grand Jury Prize, and the attention helped draw many new crossword tournament entrants. The spike in interest forced organizers to seek a larger venue.

“It’s going to be sad to leave,” said Will Shortz, the tournament’s founder and the crossword puzzle editor for The New York Times. “It’s ironic that this movie that has brought out these feelings is going to be the reason we can’t stay in Stamford.”

The event began with about 150 contestants, but was “elbow to elbow” last year with about 500 entrants, Shortz said. This year, the tournament is booked solid with a record 750 people registered to compete.

In 2008, the tournament will move to the Brooklyn Bridge Marriott in New York City, organizers said.