© 2024 Kansas City Public Radio
NPR in Kansas City
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

KCUR 89.3's Crossword Puzzle Tournament, Presented By Andrews McMeel Universal

What: Virtual Crossword Puzzle Tournament

When: Thursday, June 24, 2021

6:30 PM – 9:00 PM CDT

Join KCUR's Dan Margolies and Puzzle Masters David Steinberg and Amanda Rafkin for an exciting evening of crossword fun. The virtual event has something for everyone, including three great puzzles, plenty of entertainment and prizes for the top three finishers.

We've teamed up with legendary crossword creators Erik Agard, David Steinberg and Amanda Rafkin and online tournament provider, Amuse Labs, to put your puzzling skills to the test against the clock! Puzzlers compete in two timed elimination rounds and face off in a timed final puzzle to determine the Grand Prize winner.

If competition’s not for you, cheer on our puzzlers as an audience member instead.

For practice with the online puzzle system, here's a sample.

Presented by Andrews McMeel Universal, the 2021 Crossword Puzzle Tournament is a fundraiser for KCUR.

Puzzle Masters

Amanda Rafkin, Associate Puzzle & Games Editor at Andrews McMeel Universal.
Andrews McMeel Universal
Amanda Rafkin, Associate Puzzle & Games Editor for Andrews McMeel Universal.

Amanda Rafkin

Amanda Rafkin is the Associate Puzzle & Games Editor at Andrews McMeel Universal, editing crosswords for USA Today and the syndicated Universal Crossword. She is also a crossword puzzle constructor and musical theater pianist in her hometown of Los Angeles.

Erik Agard, Crossword Editor for Andrews McMeel Universal.

Erik Agard

Erik Agard is a Crossword Editor at Andrews McMeel Universal, editing crosswords
for USA TODAY. He’s the author of Food for Thought Crosswords (2017) and a
winner of Lollapuzzoola (2016) and the American Crossword Puzzle Tournament (2018). Alex Trebek once threatened to pie him in the face. Follow him on Twitter and Instagram.

David Steinberg, Crossword Editor for Andrews McMeel Universal.

David Steinberg

David Steinberg edits the internationally syndicated Universal and Universal Sunday Crosswords for Andrews McMeel Universal. He published his first crossword in The New York Times when he was 14, making him the second-youngest constructor to be published under Will Shortz’s editorship. To date, he has had hundreds of puzzles published in the Times and other markets, and he is the author of two crossword books: Chromatics (Puzzazz, 2012) and Juicy Crosswords (Sterling, 2016).



Why can’t I buy more than one Competitor/Puzzler ticket?

The tournament uses your Eventbrite order number as your Player ID. Therefore, players are limited to ONE Competitor/Puzzler Eventbrite ticket per person. You may buy as many spectator and/or swag add-ons as you like.

I registered but now I can’t attend. May I transfer my ticket to another person?

We can do that for you! Please email karen@kcur.org to request the transfer.

Event night

How and when do I log in?

The entire event will be held virtually on June 24. A link to the event will be emailed to the address you provided when you registered (for those pre-registered, that will be sent on Tuesday, June 22; for those registering after that date, it will be included in your Eventbrite ticket confirmation email).

On event night, Thursday, June 24, the livestream will open at 6:30pm and tournament play begins promptly at 7:00pm.

There will be a total of three puzzles, and you’ll have 20 minutes to complete each puzzle. A link to the puzzle will be provided in the Zoom chat two minutes prior to the launch of each puzzle; this link will open in your internet browser.

We strongly advise that you use a computer (laptop/desktop) for tournament play rather than a smartphone or tablet.

Zoom Etiquette

You are welcome to use the chat to talk with the panelists and/or all participants, and we encourage you to share that you are participating on social media. Please do not provide hints or give away clue answers in the chat during tournament play.

Please note: these puzzles are copyrighted. Therefore, please do not share images of the puzzles, clues or other content of the puzzles themselves on social media. Thank you!

Tournament play

  • Click the Puzzle link (will be provided in the Zoom chat window) to open and start solving. The clock will begin right away; you will have a maximum of 20 minutes per puzzle

  • Winners are based on total completion time + total amount of correct words (the winner is the person who completes the puzzle the fastest and 100% correctly)
  • Once you have completed the puzzle, click “Submit” and the timer will stop
  • Enter your Player ID* to finalize your entry

* What is my Player ID?

Your Player ID is the order number from your Eventbrite ticket. This is a unique 10-digit number that cannot be shared with others. This number identifies you in the puzzle system and allows us to apply your score to your name.

We encourage you to have this number handy before you log in to the tournament so you can easily enter it upon completion of the puzzle. Note that entry of your Player ID does not impact your solving time.

To find your order number:

  • Open your Eventbrite ticket from email. The subject line is “Order Confirmation for KCUR’s 2021 Crossword Puzzle Tournament.” The order number is located under Order Summary in the email.

  • Open the Eventbrite app on your smartphone. Click the “Tickets” icon and open the Crossword Puzzle Tournament from “My Tickets.” The order number is located under the event date in the ticket.
  • Visit www.eventbrite.com and log in to your account. Click on your account name to access your Tickets. The order number is shown in the ticket preview, and at the top of the ticket page (just above “Contact Organizer”).