Wordplay, directed by Patrick Creadon (released on November 7, 2006)
Will Shortz (ed.), The New York Times Little Black (and White) Book of Crosswords
New York Times | Village Voice | Washington Post | Rotten Tomatoes
Free Online Crosswords:
Washington Post | Chicago Sun-Times
Much of the movie is taken up with a look at several of the top competitors in the American Crossword Puzzle Tournament, this year celebrating its 30th anniversary at its annual March meeting, in Stamford, Conn. Whenever the focus shifts from famous people who happen to enjoy the daily activity of crosswords to everyday people who may like crosswords too much, the interest flags a bit. This is not to say that the skill level of the crossword tournament competitors is not impressive, because it certainly is. Like any obsession, puzzling can go too far, although there is no real harm in the tournament, of course. In any case, for Patrick Creadon's first foray into directing, after mostly shooting soft porn for Maxim -- previous credits as D.P. include Maxim's Girl Next Door and two installments of Maxim Hot 100 -- Wordplay is an admirable achievement. (Maxim's 100-word review of Wordplay is a fascinating document, too.) Even for a non-crossword nut, this unlikely documentary is informative and fun.