This weekend I will once again compete in the American Crossword Puzzle Tournament in Brooklyn.
This will be my sixth year in the tournament. I've gone from 262 back in 2008 to No. 142 last year. (That's out of 650 to 700 contestants.)
However, last year I finished one spot behind a computer program called Dr. Fill. That's embarrassing, though I will concede that as far as I know, Dr. Fill hasn't been gloating about this.
In the past, lacking a laptop or a smartphone (I just barely have a reasonably intelligent phone), I've had to depend on the kindness of other, more tech-savvy contestants to check the standings on the tournament's web site.
But I now have an iPad, which I hope to use to track how I'm doing. And while in the past I've come home and reported on my experiences for this blog, this time I'm hoping to file same-day reports at least once or twice. We'll see.
In the meantime, I have read that Dr. Fill will be competing again this year. Perhaps this time I will best him -- or maybe steer him to the hotel bar, where, if I ask really nicely ("nicely" defined here as subtly flashing a wad of cash in the barkeep's nostrils) I might be able to ensure that the good doctor is slipped a virtual Mickey Finn.
Again, we'll see....