Wordplay

Wordplay DVD coverWordplay, released in 2006 by IFC Films, is a documentary focusing on the people who create and the people who play the New York Times’ daily crossword puzzle.  Will Shortz is the puzzle’s editor and Wordplay provides an in-depth look at the involved process he follows to create and publish the puzzle everyday.  Devoted puzzle players including former president Bill Clinton, talk show host John Stewart, and the bandmates from the Indigo Girls explain their relationship with the game (for instance, Bill Clinton reveals that his strategy is to go down the list of clues until he finds one that he can answer, even if he has to go through 20 clues he doesn’t know).  The documentary also highlights the network of expert puzzlers who can solve entire puzzles in under two minutes, and who gather for a yearly convention and competition during which the fastest and most accurate puzzle solver is crowned the crossword puzzle champion.