Speed vs Accuracy musings
I aced four of the easier puzzles with time to spare (3, 4, 6 and 7). Puzzles 2 and 5 were, as always, the tough ones - especially 5, which was a killer. In each of those I was left with pretty much an entire corner unfinished when the clock ran out.
Then there was puzzle 1. This was another easy one, but I made a careless typo.
Checking my score (including this mistake), I had a total of 9150. This would have placed me at #238 had I achieved the same score among the 699 "live" competitors. Had I NOT made the mistake, I would have gotten the 150 point bonus, and not had the 25 pts subtracted, adding 175 pts to my score for 9325. Then I would have been #217 overall. Hmm. Not such a tremendous difference, actually. Still...
All but a very few of the competitors are there to try to achieve some personal goal and to have fun. To actually win, or even place in the top 50-100 you have to be some kind of amazing crossword-solving machine. My goal, had I attended in person, would have been to place in the top 40%. As it turns out, #238 would have put me in the top 34%. I'd have been quite happy with that, actually. Well, maybe I'll go to Brooklyn next year and see if I can do it there!
The overall winner was Tyler Hinman, for the fourth straight year. He is still one of the youngest competitors, just a year or so out of college. How he does it is anyone's guess.