1. What interesting things are going to happen Friday evening? Good question. There will be a huge crush of humanity trying to meet and greet and set up plans for Friday after the games and Saturday lunch and Saturday night and Sunday lunch and Sunday after the awards. One group getting together Saturday noon will discover that none of them actually knew each other previously, and three romantic couples will form in the protoplasm. Eric Berlin will come up with something interesting, specifically awarding Tyler Hinman and Merl Reagle a free drink from the hotel bar. The rest of the time will be filled with an old tape featuring news reports of the ACPT from 1984, incorrectly indignant letters-to-the-editor from Will's pile, and a pick-your-poison contest where everyone will do the cryptic (as they always do), despite the alternatives of (1) a page of 4x4 Kenken(TM)(R)(K)(P), (2) guessing what's in Henry Hook's pocket, (3) a page of 6x6 Kenken(TM)(R)(K)(P), and (4) a diagramless.
2. What's up with Saturday night? Pliska and Chaneski will come up with something, and will stretch it too far because nobody else will have volunteered something, although this year we'll be able to legitimately do 1 vs. 100 on Saturday night because only 100 people will have bothered to show up.
3. Aren't there some crossword puzzles? Yes.
3a. Well? Byron Walden will make his triumphant return to puzzle #5, which will be a rebus theme involving two Greek letters, two Cyrillic letters, and two Hebrew letters. The subsequent applause after announcing Maura Jacobson's name for puzzle #6 will delay the tournament for ten minutes. Merl will have the Sunday puzzle, and will manage to get 21 puns in a 21x21. Five contestants will break 2:00 on puzzle #1, and Trip Payne will pull a muscle trying to break 2:00 on puzzle #4.
4. Who gets the money? I think it's just reckless enough to answer: Dan Feyer, 2010 ACPT champion.
5. A talent show? Again? Not a talent show: a "variety program", just like Milton Berle used to do. Guests will include Ed Wynn, Martha Raye, and Francis Heaney, who will be so vaguely discomfited at being unable to boycott the awards banquet this year that he will write and perform a self-mocking parody of "Howl".
6. What will be the biggest surprise of the weekend? Will not announcing time/location of the next tournament, as he will be investigating taking the show on the road rather than continue to pay the extortionate fees charged by the Brooklyn site. [Who am I kidding; that will never happen. The real surprise: the hotel security team not kicking puzzlers out of the lobby at the stroke of midnight this year.]