Lollapuzzoola Scoring

Lollapuzzoola is a crossword tournament where players are judged 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 each of the two skill divisions will compete in a Championship Final to determine the winners.

At the start of each puzzle, everyone will be tied for first place! (Also last place!) (And with zero points!) After that …

  • 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 (in New York only): 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). Sorry, online, but we cannot offer Google Tickets to you this year.

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.

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 else it won’t be correct. NYC solvers – all the letters on the paper! Online solvers – all the letters in the box (use the REBUS button or hit the backtick key [most commonly found in the top left of your keyboard – look for it!]). We warned you!

This is really important to us, or else we wouldn’t have put it in a red box to draw attention to it.

That’s awfully specific. And tedious. And cuts into my speed solving.

We know. But without entering the full value of the rebus, we don’t know that you actually solved the puzzle as intended. You’re welcome to contact us to offer your feedback on this … though it’ll probably be too late for this year’s tournament.


In New York, we’ll have two skill divisions for solo players. These are called Express (unearthly solving skills) and Local (standard earthling solving skills). New York players self-selected into divisions, but if you think there’s a question or concern, contact us and we’ll look into it. There is also a Pairs Division for folks working in teams

Online, all contestants will be scored on one scoresheet. This year, we don’t have the resources to manage multiple divisions. If you’re playing as a pair, that may be indicated on the scoresheet, but everyone (solos and pairs alike) will all be listed on one spreadsheet.

There will be four rounds of championship finals for the top three finishers in each division — Local (in New York), Express (in New York), Pairs (in New York), and Online.

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.

Are there prizes?

Yes! Read more about the wonderful sponsors of Lollapuzzoola here.