PLEASE CHECK OUT THE 2009 EVENT SCHEDULE HERE
Puzzle Day will include a crossword puzzle tournament, a Sudoku tournament, and various workshops and games throughout the day.
The day's schedule is as follows. Tournament times are in red, workshops and presentations in blue and green (for one that's in the Group Study Room). The program is structured so that people who wish to can compete in both the Sudoku and crossword tournaments, or compete in one tournament and attend presentations and workshops the rest of the day, or just watch the tournament and attend some or all of the workshops. The marketplace will be open throughout the day, and the community puzzles and other games will be available as well. Stop by for just part of the event or spend the whole afternoon with us!
Doors open at 11am
Registration (until 2:30), Marketplace and non-tournament games and puzzles all day.
11:15-11:45: Crossword Warm-up with Andrea Michaels
Andrea Carla Michaels, who competed in last year's tournament and returns again this year to compete in both crosswords and Sudoku, is a professional namer, has been an NPR radio panelist/commentator, television writer and online humor columnist. Her crossword puzzles have been published in the New York Times and LA Times. Michaels will be facilitating this morning workshop on constructing and solving Monday/Tuesday level "easy" puzzles. Two of her published puzzles will be used in the workshop and attendees can work on the puzzles together, learn about their constructions, and share strategies for tackling them.
Noon-1:30 Sudoku Tournament, Preliminary Rounds
12:15-1:00: Cryptic Crosswords with Ganesh T S
Ganesh T S, an engineer from Santa Clara, CA, will be repeating his popular workshop from last year on cryptic crosswords. In addition to having some of his own cryptic crossword puzzles published, he runs an online community on a popular social networking Web site where people from different parts of the world get together everyday in a forum discussion to wrap up puzzles from some daily Indian newspapers. His Cryptic Crossword Workshop aims to introduce an audience familiar with American-style crosswords to the joys of solving British-style cryptic crosswords. Cryptic crosswords involve learning more rules compared to ordinary straight crosswords in order to appreciate them. The deciphering of the solution involves working out the straight definition as well as the wordplay involved in the clues. This workshop elucidates the difference in grid construction, as well as clue structure. Solutions to sample cryptic clues will be analyzed and the wordplay discussed. Ganesh has also created a giant Cryptic Crossword for everyone attending Puzzle Day to complete together.
1:00-1:30 Tough Crossword Puzzles with Byron Walden
Byron Walden is an Associate Professor at Santa Clara University in the Department of Mathematics and Computer Science and an acclaimed crossword puzzle constructor. While his professional research interests focus on complex analysis and discrete dynamical systems, people in the crossword world know him as the creator of challenging puzzles. In his popular crossword blog, "Rex Parker does the NYT Crossword Puzzle", Binghamton University professor Michael Sharp, writes that he considers Mr. Walden to be "one of the greatest constructors alive . or dead" and awarded him a gold medal for the Best Themeless Puzzle of 2007. Walden will be supervising the judging of the Puzzle Day tournaments and will be giving a talk about constructing and solving difficult crossword puzzles.
1:30-2:00 Killer Sudoku with Brian Conrey
Brian Conrey, a repeat Puzzle Day competitor, is the Executive Director of the American Institute of Mathematics, one of the major sponsors of the event. Conrey will be giving a talk during Puzzle Day on "killer sudoku," a variant of the popular game that combines elements of Sudoku and kakuro (also known as Cross Sums). These puzzles depend on the solver's skill at mental arithmetic, and while the easiest ones can be easier than regular Sudoku puzzles, the hardest ones can take hours to crack.
2-2:30 Sudoku Championship Round for Adults and Awards for Adult and Youth Sudoku Tournaments
2:30-4 Crossword Tournament, Preliminary RoundsThe SAT Workshop covers a wide range of topics related to college entrance exams and the college application process. The workshop is geared towards college bound HS students, their parents, educators, and school administrators. All material will be provided for participants to follow along and keep.
2:30-3:15 SAT Workshop (Group Study Room)
2:45-3:15 Sudoku Tip Exchange
Do you Sudoku? Join other Sudoku fans for a conversation about the game, share your tips and tricks and learn from others about the strategies they use to complete the puzzles.
3:15-4 The Art of Sudoku, US and World Champion Thomas Snyder
Thomas Snyder, from Palo Alto, was the winner of the first Philadelphia Inquirer National Sudoku Championship and a member of the six-person U.S. World Sudoku Team that will compete at the Third Annual World Sudoku Championship next year in Goa, India. He is a postdoctoral student in bioengineering at Stanford and has a Ph.D. in Chemistry from Harvard University. He strives to make an artistic statement with his puzzles, and his first book of puzzles, Battleship Sudoku, a new variation that combines elements from existing Battleship and Sudoku puzzle types, will be published by Sterling in April 2008. Additional puzzle projects and books are in the works.
4-4:30 Maintain Your Brain PresentationThe health of the brain plays a critical role in almost everything you do: thinking, feeling, remembering, working, and playing - even sleeping. The good news is that we now know there's a lot you can do to help keep your brain healthier as you age (and puzzles can be part of that!). These steps might also reduce your risk of Alzheimer's disease or other dementia. Simple lifestyle modifications also would have an enormous impact on our nation's public health and the cost of healthcare. If you make brain-healthy lifestyle changes and take action by getting involved, we could realize a future without Alzheimer's disease. Alexandra Morris, Family Services Manager, Alzheimer's Association of Northern California & Northern Nevada, will present.
4:30-5 Crossword Championship Round for Adults and Awards for Adult and Youth Crossword Tournaments
Schedule subject to change.