Sunday, August 6, 2017
I'm publishing this belatedly--somehow overlooked it, as I haven't been blogging regularly. That rascally FaceBook gets more than its fair share of attention!
Wes Lacewell and Beth Levi Win 2017 Arkansas Crossword Puzzle and Sudoku Championships
Wes Lacewell of Little Rock, a manager with the Division of Building Authority at the Arkansas Department of Finance and Administration, won the 10th annual Arkansas State Crossword Puzzle Championship Sunday afternoon at the University of Arkansas Clinton School of Public Service. It was his third title having won previously in 2008 and 2009. Beth Levi, a clinical professor at the UALR William H. Bowen School of Law, won the Sudoku competition for the eighth time. She also won in 2015 and 2016.
Retired Judge and Clinton Center volunteer Ellen Brantley was second in the crossword contest. Brantley is a two-time winner and this year marks her fourth time to finish second. Angelo Turturro, who is retired and lives in North Little Rock, was third.
Little Rock ophthalmologist Jim Deer finished second in the Sudoku competition. Robert Crook, senior database administrator with Talisys, a software and solutions firm in Little Rock, was third.
The championships were conducted by Little Rock District Judge Vic Fleming who constructs puzzles for the New York Times and other major publications. Deb Amlen, editor of the Wordplay crossword column in the New York Times, was the featured speaker.
The Clinton School has hosted the competition since its founding in 2007.
My friend Glenn and I have participated in this contest several times, and Glenn has been a first-place winner! This year's event was part of the Arkansas Literary Festival and took place at Sturgis Hall, part of The Clinton Presidential Library Center. A big storm the night before had knocked out the power to the building, and a very loud alarm was going off continuously. The fire department finally got the darned thing turned down to a constant, faint beep beep that continued throughout the contest rounds. A warm-up activity--matching puzzle quotes to famous names--was won by "The Three Wise Women"--a trio that included Glenn and myself. I was fourth or fifth place in the crossword line-up, but there were so many puzzle books donated for prizes that I came home with two!