Wordplay

( 3 )

Overview

Cinematographer-turned-documentary filmmaker Patrick Creadon takes a compelling look at the brainy world of crossword puzzles, the masterminds that conceive them, and the folks who struggle to solve them in a film that offers a close look at one of America's most popular pastimes. For 12 years, the name Will Shortz has been indelibly linked to the wildly popular New York Times crossword puzzle. As filmmakers speak with Shortz and the puzzle constructors with whom he collaborates, viewers are treated to a rare ...
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Overview

Cinematographer-turned-documentary filmmaker Patrick Creadon takes a compelling look at the brainy world of crossword puzzles, the masterminds that conceive them, and the folks who struggle to solve them in a film that offers a close look at one of America's most popular pastimes. For 12 years, the name Will Shortz has been indelibly linked to the wildly popular New York Times crossword puzzle. As filmmakers speak with Shortz and the puzzle constructors with whom he collaborates, viewers are treated to a rare look into the minds of the people whose intellect entertains a nation of puzzle-solvers on a weekly basis. Interviews with a variety of celebrity crossword-puzzle enthusiasts including Bob Dole, Ken Burns, and Jon Stewart are also included, and a trip to the American Crossword Puzzle Tournament -- an annual event founded by Shortz himself -- offers an entertaining look at a world where the brain power and colorful personalities of contestants combine to create a lively atmosphere of friendly competition.
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Special Features

Feature commentary with director Patrick Creadon, New York Times Puzzle Editor, Will Shortz and crossword constructor Merle Reagle; deleted scenes; "The 5 Unforgettable Puzzles Ever" featurette, affording an inside look into tricks of puzzle trade; "Every Word," a music video by Gary Louris; "Waiting for The New York Times," a short film by Patricia Erens; Wordplay goes to Sundance; interview gallery; Wordplay photo gallery.
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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Ed Hulse
Crossword puzzle fanatics everywhere will appreciate director Patrick Creadon’s lively, oddly exhilarating love letter to the English language and those who revere it. Centering on peerless puzzle maker Will Shortz -- the New York Times crossword editor for the past 12 years -- Wordplay spotlights a number of highly skilled crossword pros, who are seen competing in the film’s climax, which unfolds at the American Crossword Puzzle Tournament in Stamford, Connecticut. We learn that wordplay attracts a diverse group of celebrities, including former president Bill Clinton, the Indigo Girls, Jon Stewart, filmmaker Ken Burns, and even Yankees pitcher Mike Mussina, all of whom praise the Times puzzle as the crossword addict’s gold standard. Creadon takes pains to avoid condescension or snobbery while training his camera on subjects with sharp wits and endearing eccentricities. Much like the similarly engrossing 2002 documentary Spellbound, Wordplay casts fascinating light on our dual obsession with both language and competition.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 11/7/2006
  • UPC: 796019796156
  • Original Release: 2005
  • Rating:

  • Source: Ifc
  • Region Code: 1
  • Presentation: Wide Screen
  • Language: English
  • Time: 1:25:00
  • Format: DVD
  • Sales rank: 52,747

Cast & Crew

Technical Credits
Patrick Creadon Director
Doug Blush Editor
Patrick Creadon Camera Operator
Michael Creadon Associate Producer
Peter Golub Score Composer
Tracy McKnight Musical Direction/Supervision
Christine O'Malley Producer
Patrick Walsh Associate Producer
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Scene Index

Disc #1 -- Wordplay
1. Puzzle Master [7:30]
2. Puzzle Constructor [5:00]
3. Al Sanders [3:40]
4. Wordplay [4:56]
5. Ellen Ripstein [3:33]
6. Public Editor [6:22]
7. Executive Solver [4:11]
8. Tyler Hinman [5:03]
9. Trip Payne [7:18]
10. The Tournament [3:32]
11. Let the Games Begin! [5:46]
12. Talent Show [3:52]
13. Puzzle 7 [7:12]
14. The Finalists [3:58]
15. Championship Round [8:57]
16. Final Thoughts/End Titles [4:17]
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Menu

Disc #1 -- Wordplay
   Play Movie
   Captions
      English for the Hearing Impaired
      Spanish
      None
   Scenes
   Bonus
      Feature Commentary With Director Patrick Creadon, New York Times Puzzle Editor Will Shortz and Crossword Constructor Merl Reagle: On/Off
      Deleted Scenes of Will Shortz
         Play All
         A. Will Reads Another Letter
         B. Why People Like Crosswords
         C. Will Reads Evan Bayh Letter
         D. Will on His Editing Style
         E. Will Discusses NPR
         F. Will Editing Merl's Puzzle
         G. Will's Hobby
      More Deleted Scenes
         Play All
         A. Merl Reagle and His Notebooks
         B. Jon Delfin: A Man and His City
         C. Ellen Ripstein on Puzzles
         D. Al Sanders on Perfect Solving Age
         E. Tyler Hinman on Languages
         F. Trip Payne and His Books
      Deleted Scenes From Stamford
         Play All
         A. "If You Don't Come Across" (Extended)
         B. Friday Night at Stamford
         C. "Why a Tournament?"
      Interview Gallery
         Play All
         A. Indigo Girls
         B. Ken Burns
         C. Jon Stewart
         D. Mike Mussina
         E. Daniel Okrent
         F. President Bill Clinton
         G. Senator Bob Dole
      5 Unforgettable Puzzles Fron the Pages of the New York Times (Featurettes)
         Play All
         High Definition
         19 Black Squares
         Wardrobe Malfunction
         Drawing Power
         Laboratory Maze
      Wordplay Goes to Sundance
         Play All
         A. The Premiere
         B. The Q & A
         C. Will's NPR Puzzle Live
      "Every Word" Music Video by Gary Louris
      "And the Winner Is..." - Results From Stamford 2006
      Wordplay Photo Gallery
      "Waiting for the New York Times" - A Short Film by Patricia Erens
      DVD-ROM - 5 Unforgettable Puzzles (To Print)
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3.5
( 3 )
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