WordPlay is an engaging 2006 documentary about crossword solvers, authors and editors -- and contestants at the 2005 American Crossword Puzzle Tournament.
"WordPlay focuses on the man most associated with crossword puzzles, NYT puzzle editor and NPR Puzzle Master Will Shortz. Director Patrick Creadon introduces us to this passionate hero, and to the inner workings of his brilliant and often hilarious contributors, including syndicated puzzle creator Merl Reagle.
"There's more palm-sweating suspense in one minute of this baby than in all of 'The Omen.'" ~Peter Travers, Rolling Stone
"What's an eight-letter word for a non-fiction feature that is witty, wise and wonderful? 'Wordplay'" ~Joe Morgenstern, Wall Street Journal
"If it's challenges you're after, forget cracking "The Da Vinci Code." Wordplay captures the exhilaration that comes from navigating the ins and outs of complex puzzles." ~Claudia Puig, USA Today
"As someone who has never completed a crossword puzzle, I was surprised how engaged I was by Wordplay." ~Lou Lumenick, New York Post
[comparing Wordplay with I.O.U.S.A.] "A movie about crossword puzzles is an easier sell than a movie about the national debt." ~Patrick Creadon, Director
"Watching President Clinton solve the puzzle while he answered our questions during the interview was incredibly cool." ~Christine O'Malley, Producer
"And there's word-choice rules. You can't use -- usually -- bodily functions in puzzles, you know. 'Urine' would bail me out of a corner, I mean, a million times a year. Same with 'enema.' 'Enema' -- talk about great letters." ~Merl Reagle
"Every time I see the film, my palms get itchy and I start to sweat. Of course I know the outcome and I've seen it five times, but it gets so exciting." ~Will Shortz
[driving by a Dunkin' Donuts shop] "Dunkin' Donuts... put the D at the end, you get Unkind Donuts... which I've had a few of, in my day." ~Merl Reagle
[solving a puzzle] "Come on, Shortz! Bring it!" ~Jon Stewart
"I am a [NY] Times puzzle fan. I will solve, in a hotel, a USA Today, but I don't feel good about myself when I do it." ~Jon Stewart
"I don't smoke, I don't drink coffee, and I don't need to have a drink at the end of the day. What I do need is to solve the crossword, every day, in ink." ~Ken Burns
Some WordPlay DVD bonus (deleted) tracks: "Shortz": A. Will Reads another letter; B. Why People Like Crosswords; D. Letter to Evan Bayh; D. Will Shortz on his Editing Style; F. Will editing Merl's puzzle; "Stamford": 1. Crossword Song "If you don't come across"; "More": A. Merl Reagle and his notebooks; C. Ellen Ripstein on Puzzles; D. Al Sanders on perfect solving age; E. Tyler Hinman on Language; F. Trip Payne and his books