11 Across: Amy Reynaldo

Uptown "Crossword Fiend" competes in Brooklyn

You may not know it, but there's a big event happening in Brooklyn this weekend, and a medical editor from Uptown will be in the thick of it.

Amy Reynaldo made her first venture to the American Crossword Puzzle Tournament four years ago -- the same year the event was chronicled in a PBS documentary -- and will go head-to-head with other wordsmiths this weekend.

Working on roughly 1,700 crossword puzzles a year, the author of the 2007 book "How To Conquer The New York Times Crossword Puzzle" said she can work that newspaper's Sunday crossword puzzle (that's the hard one) in just over eight minutes.

"I love crosswords. Why do I want to spend all week working on one puzzle if, instead, I can do 40 puzzles in the same amount of time? Wouldn't that be 40 times as much fun?" she told the Chicago Tribune's Patrick T. Reardon in an interview.

Reynaldo has been training for the tournament, posting her crossword completion times on her blog, Crossword Fiend.

The American Crossword Puzzle Tournament, held annually, was founded in 1978 by Will Shortz, and is the oldest and largest crossword tournament in the United States, according to Wikipedia.

Shortz still directs the tournament, which saw nearly 700 competitors last year.

Solvers will tackle eight original crosswords created and edited specially for the event, with scoring based on accuracy and speed, the tournament's Web site explains.

Prizes will be awarded in more than 20 categories, including a $5,000 grand prize.

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