The Times Crossword Championship 2019


Join us on Saturday, December 7 at The News Building for The Times Crossword Championship 2019

Do you think you can be our crossword champion? Join us on Saturday, December 7 at The News Building, the home of The Times and The Sunday Times, to put your crossword-solving skills to the test. Compete for the highly-coveted title of The Times Crossword Champion 2019, a range of cash prizes across the competition and exclusive prizes and book giveaways from The Times Books. 

This year, the usual format of the championships has evolved and you no longer need to qualify to attend the championships. Whether you are a crossword expert or are looking to improve your skills and compete for the first time, The Times Crossword Championships are open to you.

Subscribers can enjoy an exclusive discounted ticket price of £30 per person (non-subscriber tickets are £35 each) and a range of cash prizes.

How it works:

Preliminary Rounds:

  • During the event, all guests will compete in a preliminary qualifying round in exam conditions to determine whether they qualify for the semi-finals (the preliminary round will include 3 puzzles of different difficulty levels). The preliminary round will last for 1 hour.

  • We will be holding 2 different preliminary sessions during the day, with 120 competitors at each (one in the morning and one in the afternoon). There will be 240 competitors in total across the day.

  • Please choose which preliminary session you would like to attend by choosing either the morning or the afternoon session on the right hand side of the page

  • The highest-ranking 45 competitors from each preliminary round will qualify to compete in the semi-final, which will take place following the afternoon preliminary round. Rankings are calculated taking into consideration mistakes made by the entrant and time taken.

  • The top 45 competitors from each preliminary round who qualify for the semi-final will be banded into three different groups:

    • Group A: 1st-15th place 

    • Group B: 16th- 30th place

    • Group C: 31st- 45th place

  • Following both preliminary rounds, we will be providing lunch or afternoon tea as well as crossword-related activities, helping you develop your knowledge for next year and giving an insight into The Times' crossword.


  • Following both the preliminary sessions, the highest-ranking 45 competitors from each (90 total) will compete altogether in the semi-final

  • You will compete within the group you qualified in, either Group A, Group B or Group C. The semi-final will include 3 puzzles and will last for 1 hour.

  • The 3 highest-ranking competitors in Group A will be invited to take part in the grand final. Rankings are calculated by taking into consideration mistakes made by the entrant and time taken.
Grand Final:
  • The highest-ranking 3 participants from Group A will compete in a live final on stage. The winner will be the grand finalist who receives the highest ranking after solving one Grand Final puzzle.

Group A: The winner receives a trophy and a cheque for £1,000 and the runners-up receive £500 for second place and £300 for third place.

Group B: The winner receives a cheque for £250 and the runners-up receive £200 for second place and £150 for third place.

Group C: The winner receives a cheque for £100 and the runners-up receive £75 for second place and £50 for third place.

All semi-finalists are welcome to stay and watch the grand final, plus enjoy a celebratory drinks reception at the end of the prize-giving.


Full terms and conditions for The Times Crossword Championships 2019 can be found here

To book tickets, click on 'book online' in the information box.

Please note, you will need to be logged in to see the booking button.

  1. Tickets are subject to availability. Places available on first come first served basis. Booking paid in advance and non-refundable.
  2. Tickets are limited to one pre-order.
  3. Tickets cannot be resold at a price higher than the face value printed upon them and must not be resold for commercial gain whether to ticket retailers, agents, web companies, ticket touts or otherwise.
  4. Cost: £30 + £1.13 ticket booking fee per ticket.
  5. Full payment on booking.
  6. Tickets will be assigned on a first come first served basis only.
  7. Travel to and from the venue and other costs not included in the ticket price are the responsibility of the attendees.
  8. TNL reserves the right at any time to cancel, modify, reschedule or supersede the event or any aspect of the event, including guest speakers, if, in their sole discretion, the event is not capable of being conducted as specified.
  9. Wherever possible changes will be publicised prior to the event and alternative tickets or refunds provided.
  10. Other than death or personal injury arising from the acts or omissions of TNL, or their employees, TNL will not be liable for any loss or damage arising out of attendance at the event.
  11. If you require any assistance at our event (such as information about wheelchair access, or if you are hearing or visually impaired) then please email events@mytimesplus.co.uk.
  12. SquadUp will let us know if you attended the event. This is so we can see how popular our events are with our subscribers. Your information will be used in accordance with our Privacy Policy http://www.newsprivacy.co.uk