Tag Archives: Dan Feyer

Names in the news: A fencing star, a crossword champ, and more

i-cb871462d587ce5377455ff9e2535dd3-wb_alumni.jpgWith a top-32 finish at the World Cup in Paris, epee fencer Soren Thompson ’05 qualified to represent the United States at the 2012 Summer Olympics in London. Thompson also competed at the 2004 Olympics in Athens. [Miami Herald]
Liza Mundy ’82’s story on “Women, Money, and Power” was featured on the cover of Time magazine. [Time]
Another recent Time article looked at Princeton engineering professor Jeremy Kasdin ’85’s role in the search for Earth-like planets. [Time]
Proteins developed by Caltech professor Frances Arnold ’79 have aided development of biofuels; her current work aims to improve brain imaging. [Bloomberg Businessweek]
Dan Feyer ’99 defended his title at the American Crossword Puzzle Tournament, defeating 600 top solvers and a computer. [New York Times]
Asset-management analyst Ross Glotzbach ’03 is working to gain approval for a charter school in Memphis, Tenn. [Memphis Commercial Appeal]
The recession has not dampened Broadway box offices, Jujamcyn Theaters president Jordan Roth ’02 told “Morning Joe” hosts Mika Brzezinski and Willie Geist. [MSNBC]

Names in the news: Chart toppers

Gen. David Petraeus *85 *87 is Barbara Walters’ most fascinating person of 2010. Last year’s honoree also was a Princetonian – First Lady Michelle Obama ’85. [ABC News]
On a short list of the decade’s top CEOs, Amazon’s Jeff Bezos ’86 and Google’s Eric Schmidt ’76 each rank among the top five. [MarketWatch]
Twitter’s official 2010 list of notable new users includes Queen Noor of Jordan ’73 (@queennoor) and Donald Rumsfeld ’54 (@RumsfeldOffice). [Twitter.com]
A profile of crossword champion Dan Feyer ’99 includes a video of him demonstrating his speedy solving skills. [New York Times]
Recent graduate Jonathan Schwartz ’10 plays a key role in the much-anticipated Spider-Man musical. [Broadway.com]

Tiger of the Week: Dan Feyer ’99


Dan Feyer ’99, right, with brother Stephen ’03 at the American Crossword Puzzle Tournament. (Photo by Gretchen Margaroli)

Solving a Sunday crossword puzzle is hard enough. Try doing it on stage, in front of hundreds of spectators — in under eight minutes. Impossible? Not for Dan Feyer ’99. And that’s why he is the new American Crossword Puzzle Tournament champion.

Feyer, a music major at Princeton who now plays piano accompaniment for off-Broadway musical theater productions in New York, got hooked on crossword competition after seeing the documentary Wordplay on PBS three years ago. He’s quickly climbed the ranks of the American Crossword Puzzle Tournament, winning top honors in just his third year as a contestant.

The secret to success is practice, Feyer told PAW. He solves up to 20 puzzles per day and has been known to complete 10 or more during a half-hour subway ride to work.

This year marked the first time that Feyer reached the American Crossword Puzzle Tournament final, a three-person onstage showdown. Contestants wear headphones that play white noise, to block out the commentators and crowd noise. When Feyer marked his final letter, he double-checked the puzzle, turned to the judges, and said, “Done.”

“It was very exciting, but I wasn’t entirely sure that I’d gotten everything right,” he said. “So when I finished I was kind of looking around for someone to give me a thumbs-up or a nod or something.” After a brief pause, that affirmation came. Feyer smiled and took off his headphones.

Feyer, who earned $5,000 for his victory, is not the only Princetonian word whiz. He was joined by two other alumni in the top 10, Kiran Kedlaya *97 and Stella (Daily) Zawistowski ’00, who finished sixth and seventh, respectively.

Below, watch a YouTube video of the tournament final (or view a high-resolution version here).

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