Wordplay, directed by Patrick Creadon (I.O.U.S.A.), is a film dedicated to the history and culture of the crossword puzzle. Starting out as just another puzzle on the puzzle page, the crossword puzzle (specifically the New York Times’ edition) has become something much more. For some, the little black and white squares have become an addiction; something that must be completed and perfected in minutes.
This documentary stumbles through the lives of several famous and everyday individuals who live for the clue. Will Shortz, the editor of the most famous crossword puzzle in the world, leads the way through this lesson in everything from pop culture to obscure vocabulary. Along the way, he gives insight on the history of the puzzle and how he developed the first crossword puzzle tournament, which celebrated its 30th year in 2008.
Merl Reagle, a syndicated crossword puzzle creator, demonstrates how one is created. He even explains why the cubes are setup the way they are while creating a themed puzzle for the documentary itself!
Whether you have a serious or fleeting interest in the world of crossword puzzles, this documentary shows you that it’s definitely a world worth exploring.