Wordplay (2006)

What could be another entry in the "look at these nerds, they're weird and funny, but still sorta okay" genre of film making is narrowly avoided. Director Patrick Creadon presents an affectionate look at the fans and creators of crossword puzzles, most notably those associated with The New York Times.

Creadon brings in celebs Jon Stewart, Bill Clinton, some baseball player I didn't recognize, Ken Burns, and the Indigo Girls to endorse the health benefits of crossword puzzles, and declare their undying love for Will Shortz, editor of the aforementioned newspaper's crossword. There are songs about crosswords, bad jokes, nifty graphics showing how puzzle solvers solve the puzzles, and a general tone of cheeriness. When the hardcore competition broke out at the Annual American Crossword Puzzle Tournament held every year in a dank hotel in Stamford, Connecticut, I was disappointed we got absolutely zero "pencil injury to the eye" shots. You see, truly brave crossworders always opt for a pen or marker. Pencils are for golfists!

Conversation starters

  • Confession, I find crosswords boring. Sorry. The people seem nice, though, and I admire the skill.
  • Do you spend more time during the day on the toilet, or doing puzzles. Or is it a 1 to 1 ratio?
  • "She's new! She's new! Would you like to have dinner with us?" Reminds me of boardgamers!


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