I gave up on the Tuesday New York Times crossword puzzle. This was ego shattering – I can always solve the puzzle easily up through Thursday. See, the puzzle gets harder every day, starting very simply on Monday and ending in insanity on Sunday. The Sunday Times Magazine puzzle is the kind of thing you spend a day or two on.
The man behind this puzzle is Will Shortz, a fellow I have known only by his excellent name attached daily to my crossword. But now IFC Films has bought Wordplay, a documentary about Shortz and the world of crosswords, and will be releasing it this year. From the press release:
Wordplay focuses on the man most associated with crossword puzzles, New York Times puzzle editor and NPR puzzle-master Will Shortz. Director Patrick Creadon introduces us to this passionate hero, and to the inner workings of his brilliant and often hilarious contributors, including syndicated puzzle creator Merl Reagle. Along the way, the film presents interviews with celebrity crossword puzzlers such as Bill Clinton, Bob Dole, Jon Stewart, Ken Burns, Mike Mussina and the Indigo Girls, who reveal their process, insight and the allure of the game. In addition to deconstructing this uniquely American institution, Wordplay takes us through the American Crossword Puzzle Tournament, an annual competition founded by Shortz. As the competitors are introduced and the tournament progresses, it becomes clear that this is more about community and comradery than anything else.