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 with 5,000 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.
    • Also, if you go over the time limit (for example, if you spend 21 minutes on a puzzle with a 20-minute timer), you will lose one (1) point for every second over.
  • Facilitated Cheating Deduction: Lose fifty (50) points for every time you cheat.
  • Perfect Puzzle Bonus: Get a bonus of two hundred (200) points if your puzzle is totally accurate and you didn’t cheat.

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 200-point bonus for being perfect. That’s a total of 1200 + 2900 + 200 = 4300 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 25 minutes, spent three Google Tickets, but got all but one square correct, you would get a total of 300 (time points) + 2890 (correct squares) – 150 (Google Tickets = 3040 points.

N.B.: Missing one square is ultimately a loss of 210 points – and that’s three and-a-half minute worth of time. Check your work!

What is Facilitated Cheating?

In each round, after half the time has elapsed, you’ll be able to contact someone on our Facilitated Cheating Staff who will give you any non-theme answer in the grid. If you ask for an answer that is part of the puzzle’s theme, you will be told the answer is unavailable, and you will not lose any points.

The first time you cheat, it will essentially cost you 250 points (50 for the cheat and 200 forfeited from the Perfect Puzzle Bonus). After that, each subsequent cheat is worth the equivalent of five boxes in the grid.

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 can either click the REBUS button or hit the tilde key on your keyboard. You have to type ALL THE LETTERS OR ELSE IT WON’T BE CORRECT.

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.


Yes – for solo players, there are two skill divisions. These are called Express (unearthly solving skills) and Local (everyone else). If you think you’re in the wrong division, contact us, and we’ll either change it or explain why you were placed there.

For Pairs Division players, there are no skill subsets – all Pairs players compete together. Also, there is no official final puzzle for the Pairs Division.

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 our prize packages and the wonderful sponsors of Lollapuzzoola here.