Crosswords for a Cause—Sharp Again's Second Annual Crossword Puzzle Competition

Sharpen Your Pencils!

Crossword puzzles are recommended by Sharp Again (SAN) as a fun way to challenge our brains and remind us of the importance of staying sharp as we age! During this four-week competition, puzzle solvers will tackle original puzzles by New York Times puzzle makers – created especially for this event. Participation is FREE!

How It Works:

  • Each Monday beginning June 6, we will release one new 15 x 15 puzzle (four in total).
  • Once you register, we will email the puzzles to you on or after the release date(s) below.
  • Every puzzle contains a metapuzzle: circled letters that need to be unscrambled to reveal a word relating to a way to keep the brain healthy.
  • Solve the metapuzzle word and email it, IN THE SUBJECT LINE, by the deadline below to to be entered into our weekly prize drawing.
  • Those successfully solving the metapuzzle for all four weeks will be entered into our Grand Prize drawing.

Puzzle/Drawing Schedule:

Weekly Puzzle Release Date Solve By 5pm ET Drawing Date
1 June 6 June 12 June 13
2 June 13 June 19 June 20
3 June 20 June 26 June 27
4 June 27 July 3 July 4
Grand Prize July 5

How to Register:

  • Fill out the Crosswords for a Cause registration form.
  • You can join any time during the week’s competition and solve the metapuzzle by Sunday at 5:00pm ET in order to be eligible for that week’s drawing.
  • Anyone joining after the competition has begun can still be eligible to enter the Grand Prize drawing, but will not be eligible for the previous weeks’ prizes.


Email us at

Download these instructions

Registration Form


Meet Our Puzzle Creators

Ross Trudeau is a writer and puzzle maker in Cambridge, MA. His crosswords have appeared in The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, The Atlantic, and numerous other publications. He publishes a free weekly puzzle every Sunday on his personal site, Rossword Puzzles.

Robyn Weintraub,Robyn Weintraub lives in Rye Brook and has been constructing crossword puzzles since 2010. Her puzzles regularly appear in The New York Times and she’s also a member of the in-house puzzle team at The New Yorker. When she’s not making puzzles, she’s volunteering with various local political organizations or playing in her garden. Robyn can be contacted on Twitter at @Robynw414.

Scott Marrone, New York Times crossword puzzle creator, donated a puzzle for Sharp AgainScott Marrone is a retired educator and conductor, born and raised in NYC and currently living in Westchester. He is married and has two daughters.  Scott is an avid crossword solver and feels it is an excellent mental activity because it requires thinking in many directions and recalling a wide array of information. He has had 7 puzzles published in The New York Times and the Sunday puzzle for Halloween 2021 in the Wall Street Journal.

Jon Olsen, New York Times crossword puzzle creator, donated a puzzle for Sharp AgainJon Olsen is a veterinarian from Thornwood, New York, who has been a passionate creator and solver of crosswords for over 30 years. His work has been featured in The New York Times, GAMES Magazine, and World of Puzzles. He lives with his wife, two daughters, and when he is not puzzling, he enjoys cooking, Scotch tasting, and Yankees baseball.


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