43 user 87 critic

Wordplay (2006)

PG | | Documentary | 21 July 2006 (USA)
2:00 | Trailer

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An in-depth look at The New York Times' long-time crossword puzzle editor Will Shortz and his loyal fan base.


1 win & 7 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Merl Reagle ...
Tyler Hinman ...
Al Sanders ...
Ellen Ripstein ...
Jon Delfin ...
Emily Saliers ...
Mike Mussina ...
Himself (as William Jefferson Clinton)


A documentary that focuses on the world of crossword puzzles: those that construct them, those that love to solve them, those that compete in the annual Crossword competition in Stamford and also on Will Shortz, the editor of the New York Times crossword since the early 1990s. Shortz actually has a university degree in games and organized the first crossword championship in 1978. Some of the contributors to the Times puzzle explain how they go about building them while some aficionados, including former President Bill Clinton and comedian Jon Stewart talk about their love of solving them. The film also introduces several past champions and near champions competing in the 2006 tournament and it takes you from the preliminary rounds to the final where the top three contestants compete in front of a room full of admiring contestants. Written by garykmcd

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Discover a world that thinks inside the box See more »



Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG for some language and mild thematic elements | See all certifications »


Official Sites:




Release Date:

21 July 2006 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Word Play  »

Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$32,847 (USA) (16 June 2006)


$3,117,666 (USA) (20 October 2006)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Jon Stewart: [solving a puzzle] Come on, Shortz! Bring it!
See more »


References Tomb Raider (1996) See more »


Cross Word Papa (You Sure Puzzle Me)
performed by Josie Miles & the Choo Choo Jazzers
See more »

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User Reviews

I loved this documentary!
7 June 2006 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

I have such vivid memories of sitting in my kitchen every Sunday morning with my father doing the New York Times cross word puzzle together and this movie paid amazing tribute to everyone who has ever attempted such a feat. I loved the stories and the people that were filmed, and laughed at all the things these people did to get to the cross word championships. It was interesting the little nuggets of information that go into these puzzles as well as the commentary from the people who do them, celebrities and contestants alike.

I would suggest this lighthearted film to anyone who has ever enjoyed a good cross word puzzle. From beginning to end, I enjoyed every moment.

21 of 28 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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