An odd group, 67 competitors, turned up for the 13th annual Pleasantville crossword tournament on the night of September 25th and failed to finish off an overflowing table of baked goods. They did much better with the Monday through Wednesday crosswords from next week’s New York Times. Jeffrey Schwartz, Bob Mackey and Ken Stern tackled the final (Thursday) puzzle on stage, finishing in that order. One of the highlights of the evening was host Will Shortz’s correct pronunciation of the name of Ashish Vengsarkar’s collaborator on a recent Sunday Times puzzle, Narayan Venkatasubramanyan.
Below: MAD magazine art director Sam Viviano, one the contestants, kept himself busy by doodling between rounds. Pictured, clockwise from left, are: Frank Longo, ?, Barry Weprin, maybe Tony Orbach (although Sam was doubtful since the resemblance is iffy), Rob (one of Will’s Ping-Pong-playing pals) and Amanda Yesnowitz.