Tyler Hinman

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Tyler Hinman
Personal information
Nationality United States
Born (1984-11-05) November 5, 1984 (age 35)
Hartford, Connecticut, USA
Country United States
SportCruciverbalism, Other puzzling
Event(s)Solving, constructing
Achievements and titles
National finals2005-2009: American Crossword Puzzle Tournament

Champion, Regional Champion, Age-Group Champion
2003: American Crossword Puzzle Tournament

B-Division Champion

Tyler Hinman (born November 5, 1984) is a crossword solver and constructor and a five-time winner of the American Crossword Puzzle Tournament (ACPT). He holds the tournament record for youngest champion ever (Hinman won as a 20-year-old in 2005), and formerly held the record for consecutive titles, with five, a feat matched and bested by 6-time champion Dan Feyer. Hinman has since placed second in the crossword tournament four of the past five years and he has finished third once. He was one of the featured players in the award-winning 2006 documentary film Wordplay.

Early life[edit]

Hinman was born in Hartford, Connecticut and raised in Connecticut and in England. While a 9th grade student at The American School In England (TASIS), Hinman was introduced to The New York Times crossword puzzle and became immediately interested.[1][2] He first entered the ACPT as a 16-year-old in 2001, finishing 101st out of the 322 entered contestants.[3]

Education and career[edit]

After graduating from TASIS The American School in England in 2002, Hinman returned to the United States to attend Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) where he earned a bachelor's degree in Information Technology in 2006 and joined the Phi Mu Delta fraternity.[4] After graduating, he accepted a job in Chicago, Illinois as a bond trader at Darwin Capital Trading through a connection from the producer of the film Wordplay. After a little more than a year, Hinman reported that the position "wasn't working out" and left in October 2007 to move to the San Francisco Bay Area where in June 2008 he took a job as a developer at Google.[2] Hinman is currently a games developer and software engineer at Lumosity in San Francisco.[5]

Puzzle career[edit]

Hinman first entered the ACPT as a sixteen-year-old in 2001, finishing 101st in a field of 322 competitors.[3] He continued to enter each year, capturing the tournament title for the first time in 2005 as a 20-year-old, making him the youngest-ever winner of the tournament. He won the next four tournaments even as they were growing in both size and competitiveness. In 2009 there were nearly 700 competitors, and with his fifth win Hinman had solved 40 consecutive tournament puzzles without making a single error. His winning streak came to an end in 2010 when he finished fourth overall in the tournament.

Hinman is also a crossword puzzle constructor, creating original puzzles for publications including The New York Times and The Onion. He is also a contributor to the CrosSynergy Syndicate, and to the American Values Club xword, edited by Ben Tausig. Hinman, along with fellow puzzlemaker Jeremy Horwitz, received national attention when they fulfilled a wish of San Francisco Giants pitcher Brian Wilson by including his name in a puzzle for the Times. The theme consisted of World Series-winning pitchers who share a name with vocalists on #1 hits.[6]

In 2017, Hinman appeared in FOX game show Superhuman and competed in a race against time to complete five word puzzles.[7]


  1. ^ "Hinman '02 Unbeatable Crossword Champ Since 2004". The American School in England. 2008-03-10. Retrieved 2009-03-07.
  2. ^ a b Baker, Chris (2009-01-19). "Get a Clue: Top Crossword Solver Throws Down Geeky Challenge". Wired. Retrieved 2009-03-07.
  3. ^ a b "2001: 24th Annual Crossword Puzzle Tournament Results". American Crossword Puzzle Tournament. 2007-04-23. Retrieved 2009-03-07.
  4. ^ "Phi Mu Delta Triangle, Volume 84, Number 1" (PDF). The National Fraternity of Phi Mu Delta. Retrieved 2009-10-21.[dead link]
  5. ^ http://www.linkedin.com/in/tylerhinman "Tyler Hinman Linkedin Profile". Linkedin.com. Retrieved 2009-03-07.
  6. ^ Mike Cassidy (2011-04-11). "Cassidy: Jeremy Horwitz and Tyler Hinman's Brian Wilson puzzle shows Silicon Valley's crossword chops". Mercury News. Retrieved 2011-04-14.
  7. ^ April Neale (2017-07-10). "Exclusive clip: Christina Milian squirms as puzzle expert Tyler Hinman struggles on SuperHuman". Monsters & Critics. Retrieved 2017-09-06.

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