Times editor wins Gazette contest
26 minutes was winning time; Skip Petersen trailed by 30 seconds
Contest winners Dan Cabot and Skip Petersen show their work. Photos by Susan Vaughn
Greg Dan Cabot and Skip Petersen won the crossword puzzle contest at the Chilmark Library on Saturday. Each of the winners completed the puzzle correctly, but Mr. Cabot finished 30 seconds ahead of Ms. Petersen, so he got first choice at the prizes.
Click here for a copy of the crossword puzzle.
In awarding the prizes provided by the Vineyard Gazette, librarian Ebba Hierta noted, "I have to point out the irony: Dan Cabot, MV Times columnist, wins the Gazette crossword puzzle contest."
The puzzle was also provided by the Gazette. Mr. Cabot, Times contributing editor, a West Tisbury resident, and a member of the up-Island regional school district committee, correctly completed the 21-by-21 grid in 26 minutes. Ms. Petersen, artist and sign painter, finished next. However, unlike Mr. Cabot, Ms. Petersen filled out her copy in ink. When one does a crossword in ink, one must be careful to be sure that each letter is correct before committing it to the grid. Ms. Petersen's extra moments of caution may have cost her the honor of finishing first. Kurt Freund of West Tisbury finished third.
Twelve puzzlers assembled at the Chilmark Library on a sunny Saturday afternoon to try their skill. Ms. Hierta explained that the contestants would have one hour, and bags of prizes would be awarded to the two puzzlers with the most correct answers. In case of a tie, the awards would go to the two earliest finishers.
Rose Anthony of Vineyard Haven.
Most of the contestants said that they work crossword puzzles frequently. Mr. Freund said that he just enjoys the challenge. Domingo Pagan said that he finds fun in the mental activity.
Long-time friends, Rose Anthony and Lois DeBettencourt, regularly compete against each other. They said that Ms. DeBettencourt usually wins at crosswords, but Ms. Anthony wins at Scrabble. Both said they have been doing crosswords "forever" and enjoy the competition, but Ms. DeBettencourt added more seriously that working puzzles may serve to protect the mind from Alzheimer's disease. Gerontologists say it is true that seniors who regularly participate in such mental exercise are less likely to be victims of that disease.
At the start of the competition the two youngest puzzlers, grade-schoolers Kyle Joba-Woodruff and Mael Drew-Morin, got a round of applause from the crowd. Ms. Hierta, surprised to see entrants so young, commented afterwards that in future years she might include a students' division with a separate puzzle. Ms. Petersen thought the youngsters should compete equally with the adults but also be eligible for prizes in their age-group.
Prizes provided by the Gazette included a gift certificate from the Bunch of Grapes, a subscription to the Gazette or Martha's Vineyard Magazine, and Gazette-logo mugs and caps. Mr. Cabot will use the free subscription to the Gazette (he is not currently a subscriber), but will be careful not to carry the mug or wear the cap to The Times offices (with the exception of one celebratory lap through the newsroom).