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Britain crowns new crossword champion

UPI News Service, 10/13/2008 

A financial controller at the London Stock Exchange took less than 18 minutes to find the words to become Britain's new crossword puzzle champion.

Mark Goodliffe, 43, beat out the competition to win The Times National Crossword Puzzle Championship held at the University of Gloucestershire, The Times of London reported Monday.

"It's a tough competition," said contest organizer David Levy. "If you make one mistake you are out. If you are not fast enough you are out."

Unlike most other "sports", the person who finishes first in a crossword competition isn't always the winner.

Competitors have to wrestle with the contradictory requirements of breakneck speed and scrupulous accuracy.

"You've got to decide whether to gamble or play safe," Goodliffe told the Times. "You just don't know how everybody else is getting on."

In addition to a trophy, Goodliffe received a cash prize of $1,800.

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Copyright 2008 by United Press International


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