To be the best, you have to beat the best, right? Last weekend, the best crossword puzzle solvers in the country gathered in Brooklyn to compete at the annual American Crossword Puzzle Tournament, hosted by Will Shortz, the Puzzle Editor of the New York Times and Puzzle Master for NPR's Weekend Edition Sunday. After seven rounds, finalists solved the final puzzle on stage in front of hundreds who gathered to watch. They scribbled their answers in magic marker on giant puzzle grids held aloft on easels. Now you can try your luck at home by printing out one of the puzzles the finalists solved in the championship round.
You can find all three versions of the puzzle -- extremely difficult, very difficult, and moderately difficult -- here. Print one out and start solving! Fear not -- we'll give you answers later, and even better, we'll talk with Mike Shenk, who wrote the puzzles, Thursday. So get to work!