Hello, BeMoreSmarter.com visitors!

If you wound up on this site and you’re thinking, “what am I doing here?” — we can help you.

You’re probably here because you’ve heard about Lollapuzzoola, the greatest summertime crossword tournament ever held annually on a Saturday in August. The latest version happened on Saturday, August 19, 2023. The actual event is over, but you can still get the puzzles! And if you want to reach out to the Lollapuzzoola folks, email them at lolla@bemoresmarter.com.

You might be here because you’re curious about Fill Me In, which is a weekly podcast (mostly) (somewhat) about crosswords. It’s hosted by Brian Cimmet and Ryan Hecht. You can listen to it on this site, though sometimes the page freezes up. You can also listen to it on Apple Podcasts, or other places you find podcasts. If you want to reach out to the Fill Me In folks, email them at fmi@bemoresmarter.com.

We don’t actually do anything else except these two things.

Lollapuzzoola (in NYC) is done!

The big tournament happened — another Saturday in August is in the books. Congratulations to Express Division winner Will Nediger (along with runners-up Dan Schwartz and Jenna LaFleur), Local Division winner Simon Henriques (along with runners-up Reuben Henriques and Will Eisenberg), Pairs Division winners Pete & Claire Rimkus (along with runners-up Sam Ezersky & Madison Clague and Scott Koenig & Patrick Aquino), At-Home Division winner Paolo Pasco, and meta contest winners Taigen O, Vivian Sophia, and Annie Hu!

Folks looking for the standings from the tournament can use the links below:

Any questions, concerns, or scoring corrections can be sent by email to lolla@bemoresmarter.com.

The puzzles are still available via a downloaded PDF. Pop over to our storefront to get a copy for yourself or a friend!

We look forward to seeing everyone next year on another Saturday in August!

Updates! Location, Schedule, Sponsors

Lollapuzzoola is … [checks notes] … tomorrow! Here’s a little more detail about the events of the day. (The venue in NYC is sold out, but there are still unlimited tickets left for the PDF download or the snail mail puzzles.)

Please note: There is no live virtual event happening this year. All home solvers have the option of PDFs (which you print out) or snail mail (which we print out).


Our location is Riverside Church, and we’re in a room called South Hall. There are two entrances to the building — 91 Claremont Avenue and 490 Riverside Drive.

The Riverside Drive entrance leads you immediately into the part of the building where Lollapuzzoola takes place. It has a staircase and is not handicap accessible. These doors will open at 9am.

The Claremont Avenue entrance is on the other side of the church. It IS handicap accessible, and it is also (probably) open a little earlier than 9am. It is also a bit of a distance from South Hall. That said, if stairs are a concern, please use the Claremont Avenue entrance.

If you choose to drive to the church, there is a parking garage underneath, and elevators that come up immediately outside South Hall. If you choose to take public transportation, we don’t have a lot of information about that, so check https://new.mta.info/ for local news.


Lollapuzzoola is run by Brian Cimmet, Brooke Husic, and Sid Sivakumar. This year, we’ve commissioned the talents of Sara Cantor, Ricky Cruz, Kevin G. Der, Rebecca Goldstein, Matthew Gritzmacher, Doug Peterson, and Erica Hsiung Wojcik to create our tournament slate of puzzles.

The tiebreaker puzzle is by Emily Sharp and Kunal Nabar, with a variety puzzle meta suite by Neville Fogarty, and a crossword meta suite designed by Sid Sivakumar and constructed by Laura Braunstein, Zhouqin Burnikel, Emily Carroll, Rachel Fabi, Olivia Mitra Framke, Kate Hawkins, Jenna LaFleur, Ryan McCarty, Will Nediger, Tony Orbach, joon pahk, Paolo Pasco, Brendan Emmett Quigley, Caitlin Reid, Matthew Stock, and Robyn Weintraub. Read more about all of them here.


  • 9am-10am: Check-in, registration, get a party hat, solve some casual warm-up puzzles
  • 10am-12pm: Puzzles 1, 2, and 3
  • 12pm-1:20pm: Lunch (pizza in house, if you ordered it … otherwise, you’re on your own!)
  • 1:20-3:00: Puzzles 4 and 5
  • 3:30ish: Local Finals and Pairs Finals (in two different locations)
  • 4:00ish: Express Finals
  • 4:30ish: Award Ceremony


Lollapuzzoola is a crossword tournament where players are assessed on a combination of speed and accuracy.

There are five main puzzles in the tournament. At the end of five puzzles, the top three players in the Express and Local Divisions, and the top three pairs in the Pairs Division, will all compete in a Championship Final to determine the winners.

  • Correct Squares: Gain ten (10) points for every correct square in the grid.
  • Time Left on the Clock: Gain one (1) point for every second remaining on the clock.
    • This score is only applied if your puzzle is at least 50% accurate. Otherwise, people would be inclined to turn in an unfinished puzzle to get the time points without caring about wrong or blank squares.
  • Perfect Puzzle Bonus: Get a bonus of one hundred (100) points if your puzzle is totally accurate and you didn’t cheat.
  • Google Tickets: After half the solving time has elapsed, players are invited to trade tickets for answers, at the cost of 25 points per ticket (plus forfeiture of the “perfect puzzle” bonus).

Example 1. Imagine a 30-minute puzzle that had 290 squares to fill. If you solved it perfectly in 10 minutes, there would be 20 minutes (or 1200 seconds) on the clock, and you would get 10 points per correct square plus a 100-point bonus for being perfect. That’s a total of 1200 + 2900 + 100 = 4200 points.

Example 2. If you used ten minutes but only got 120 of squares right, you would get no points for time (120 is less than half of 290), and a total of 1200 points for your correct squares.

Example 3. If you used twenty minutes, got 150 squares right, and used two Google Tickets, you would get 600 (for time remaining), 1500 (for correct squares), and lose 50 (for two Google Tickets). That’s a total of 600 + 1500 – 50 = 2050 points.

N.B.: Missing one square is ultimately a loss of 110 points – and that’s almost two minutes worth of time. Check your work!

What about rebus squares, do you do that sort of thing?

We might! And if there’s ever a rebus in the puzzle — that is, if more than one letter goes in a box — you must enter all the letters or it won’t be considered correct. We warned you!

As a matter of fact — it’s always better to do more. If there are boxes that look like they could be filled, they probably should be filled.

What if there’s a tie?

We have an extra puzzle! And even if we don’t use it as a tiebreaker, everyone gets to solve it anyway. What fun!

How are the finals scored?

The winner will be the first person to complete the puzzle with no mistakes. If no one completes the puzzle with no mistakes, then the winner is whoever has the fewest mistakes, regardless of time.


We are grateful to be supported by several wonderful puzzle people and organizations.

American Values Club CrosswordDaily Crossword LinksGames World of PuzzlesFill Me InFireball CrosswordsMatt Gaffney’s Weekly Crossword ContestOutside the Box PuzzlesP&A MagazineXWordInfo

There’s more information on our Sponsors page as well.

… we’re live!

Lollapuzzoola, the “greatest crossword tournament ever to be held annually on a Saturday in August” is returning this summer — Saturday, August 19th in New York City. Join us for a day of puzzles and games!

Fingers crossed, the new online “storefront” for Lollapuzzoola is working as intended. You could be one of the first people to sign up for this summer’s grand affair. Tickets are available now! Click through for information and tickets.

… and we’re out! (well, almost)

Quick post to say a big group THANK YOU to everyone who was part of Lollapuzzoola this year. Whether you played online or in person, whether you’re getting the puzzles tomorrow or a week from now, whether you wrote puzzles, edited puzzles, worked backstage, worked offscreen, worked on screen, did grading, Google Tickets, ordered lunch, or just walked up to Brian, Sid, and Brooke, and said “hey, this is fun!” —

WHOEVER YOU ARE, we thank you from the bottomest parts of our collective hearts. It was so rewarding and fulfilling to get back into a room with all of you again, and we are eternally grateful for your good cheer, your solving prowess, and your support for our wacky little Saturday in August.

If you haven’t yet enjoyed the Lollapuzzoola puzzles — it’s not too late! You can still order a set, which will come via email in the form of PUZ and PDF files. It’s the full slate of tournament puzzles, the tiebreaker, the rehearsal puzzles, plus the two meta suites. Click the BUY NOW button below to get a complete set for just $20.


Keep an eye on your email — you’ll get something from the name Lollapuzzoola and the email address client@e-junkie.com. If you don’t see your email right away, search your spam or trash for that address.

Thanks for being a part of Lollapuzzoola!

Useful links

It seems we left a link out of an email this morning, so here is a list of all of the links that will be useful to you in advance of tomorrow’s tournament.

We’re live!

Lollapuzzoola – the greatest crossword tournament ever held annually on a Saturday in August – is back on Saturday, August 27! We’re running concurrent events in New York City and online, so sign up today! You can join us in person, compete online, or solve calmly at your leisure (either online or via PUZ and PDF files).

If you want to try some sample puzzles, we have four of them.

Mark your calendars for Saturday, August 27, 2022, and start making plans to join us in New York for the return of an in-person Lollapuzzoola!

We’ve just opened our box office for tickets to this year’s event. You can join us in person, compete online, or solve calmly at your leisure (either online or via PUZ and PDF files).

Click here for more information and to purchase tickets!

If you already got a ticket for the online tournament – have you registered an account with our website? Go to the blue text above and choose either Login (to see if you can) or Register (to set it up). You’ll need this to access our puzzles!

Hope you’ll consider joining us for some great crossword fun at Lollapuzzoola!