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Wordplay (2006)


In one enlightening episode the crossword composer Merl Reagle shares his thought processes while putting together a new puzzle, affording an insight into the deep linguistic structures that inform this seemingly trivial hobby and in the second part it centers on the 28th annual American Crossword Puzzle Tournament, hosted every year in Stamford, Conn., by Will Shortz, the editor of the New York Times crossword puzzles. It also visits fans of the Times puzzles (which run in the Sun-Times and countless other papers). These include Bill Clinton, Bob Dole, Jon Stewart, Ken Burns, Yankee pitcher Mike Mussina and countless others who descend into a deep mental well once a day and don’t emerge until the puzzle has been completed.

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