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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:

A wildly entertaining documentary about crossword puzzles, the people who make them and the people who love them 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

Merl Reagle: 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...
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Connections

Spoofs Saturday Night Live (1975) See more »

Soundtracks

If You Don't Come Across
written by Vic Fleming
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User Reviews

 
Best doc in years.
23 June 2006 | by poc4774See all my reviews

Patrick Creadon's new film is easily the best documentary to come along in years. It simply amazes one that any person could make a film about puzzles that can be so suspenseful, intellectual, and heartwarming all at the same time. It makes you laugh, cry, and pull your hair out, and doesn't give you time to catch your breath before starting this cycle all over again. I haven't cheered out loud at a movie since I was a kid and allowed to do so in a theater. It's one of those movies which you cry to yourself, "God, I wish I could make a movie like this." This brilliant director undoubtedly has a huge future ahead of him and what a way to start.


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