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Wordplay CL Recommends

When: Fri., Sept. 14, 7 p.m. 2012
Price: Free admission
An entertaining and enlightening documentary on, of all things, crossword puzzles, this lovely piece from 2006 showcases the power of the American language and the pure, untainted joy that puzzle aficionados feel as they interlock their answers in the grids found within the pages of The New York Times. The film's central figure is the Times' crossword editor Will Shortz, but celebrity puzzle fans also make appearances: Bill Clinton, Ken Burns and Jon Stewart (who cracks wise about whether it's best to tackle the puzzles with a pen or a pencil, at one point joking that "I'm so confident, I'm going to use a glue stick."). As in all docs of this nature (Spellbound, Mad Hot Ballroom), the movie wraps up with a major competition, in this case the 28th annual American Crossword Puzzle Tournament. Wordplay functions as a playful celebration of brain power, and in that respect, it gets its point across (and down).
— Matt Brunson

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