7.4/10
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45 user 83 critic

Wordplay (2006)

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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.

Director:

Patrick Creadon
1 win & 7 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Will Shortz ... Himself
Merl Reagle Merl Reagle ... Himself
Tyler Hinman Tyler Hinman ... Himself
Trip Payne ... Himself
Al Sanders Al Sanders ... Himself
Ellen Ripstein Ellen Ripstein ... Herself
Jon Delfin Jon Delfin ... Himself
Jon Stewart ... Himself
Ken Burns ... Himself
Amy Ray ... Herself
Emily Saliers Emily Saliers ... Herself
Daniel Okrent ... Himself
Mike Mussina Mike Mussina ... Himself
Bob Dole ... Himself
Bill Clinton ... Himself (as William Jefferson Clinton)
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Storyline

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

Taglines:

Discover a world that thinks inside the box See more »

Genres:

Documentary

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

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

Official Sites:

PBS

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

21 July 2006 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Word Play See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$32,847, 18 June 2006, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$3,117,666, 22 October 2006
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Tyler Hinman would eventually work for Google for a few years. See more »

Quotes

Jon Stewart: I am a Times puzzle fan. I will solve, in a hotel, a USA Today, but I don't feel good about myself when I do it.
See more »

Connections

References American Idol (2002) See more »

Soundtracks

If You Don't Come Across
written by Vic Fleming
performed by Sean O'Malley
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Fantastic!
14 July 2006 | by veenasriram1See all my reviews

You would never imagine that the evolution and story behind the New York Times crossword puzzle and the people who both create them and ferociously try to solve them, would be so darn interesting. This movie proves that a good theme, a sincere effort and some interesting, quirky characters can make even the most remote of subjects, a fascinating, moving documentary. Watching Jon Stewart, Bill Clinton and other famous people work at the crossword somehow humanizes them in a way that I have honestly never seen before. Everyone who attacks the puzzle is now on the same page, and the movie somehow made me feel a lot better about the human race. If there is anything that unites us all, it is the need to solve something - to go through the process of cracking it and to ultimately own it. By watching this movie, you almost have the same amount of respect for the people who are simply the best in the country at this particular thing, as you do for the Stewarts and the Clintons of this world.


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