©2005 Nancy Shack
See left panel for full results; updated 3/25
"Wordplay," the Documentary
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 where almost five hundred competitors battled it out for the title "Crossword Champ" and showed their true colors along the way.
Synopsis from the Wordplay website.
Pictures from the Tournament
- Lloyd Mazer's Pictures
- Marilynn Huret's Pictures
- Paula Gamache's Pictures
- Fay Eastwood's Pictures
- Don Christensen's Pictures: Group 1 | Group 2 | Group 3 | Group 4 | Group 5 | Group 6
- Nancy Shack's pictures
- Ben Tausig's Pictures
"American Crossword Idol"The Saturday night entertainments featured an "American Crossword Idol" contest where tournament contestants had the opportunity to share their talents. The winner was Leslie Billig, with an homage to Will Shortz.
- "My Will" by Leslie Billig, winner American Crossword Idol (text and video)
- If You Don't Come Across, by Vic Fleming (text and video)
- Ellen Ripstein, Twirler (pictures and video)
- Harvey Estes (video only)
- Parnell Hall (video only)
More Videos from the TournamentVideographer: Nancy Shack -- Thank you!!
- Will Shortz Reads Favorite Letters to the Editor
- Talking Crosswordese Blues by Alan Arbesfeld (text and video)
- "A" Playoff
- "B" Playoff
In the News
- Puzzles Are More Than a Pastime for Competitors at This Cerebral Contest Chicago Tribune [May 1, 2005]
- Word perfect: Student is atop crossword heap Albany Times Union [April 11, 2005]
- Notebook: Tyler Hinman The Chronicle of Higher Education [March 25, 2005]
- Spell It Out American Prospect Online [March 16, 2005]
- The Agony of Defeat The Next Best Thing (blog) [March 14, 2005]
- College student from Hebron all up after putting down crossword competitors Journal Inquirer (Connecticut) [March 14, 2005]
- After vet blunders, 20-year-old makes crossword history Stamford Advocate [March 14, 2005]
- College Student Wins Crossword Puzzle Championship NPR [March 14, 2005]
- Crazy for crosswords Newsday [March 14, 2005]
- College student edges engineer to win crossword puzzle title Newsday [March 13, 2005]
- Student Becomes Youngest Crossword Champ Yahoo News [March 13, 2005]
- American Crossword Puzzle Torunament kicks off in Stamford Stamford Advocate [March 12, 2005]
- Crossword Trivia Miami Herald [March 11, 2005]
- Across and down a ballroom, crosswords will rule the day Miami Herald [March 11, 2005]
- Puzzle lovers to cross paths, and words, this weekend Stamford Advocate [March 11, 2005]
- You can't cross up the crossword king Times Union (Albany NY) [March 10, 2005]
- Word Wiz Frederick Md. News-Post [March 6, 2005]
- Clueless in Connecticut Orlando Sentinel [February 13, 2005]
From the Blogosphere
- Eric Berlin (scroll down to March 13, 2005 and also read the comments!)
- SadPunk "Oddly, I hadn't really been nervous. I'd been treating the whole thing as a bit of a lark, but when he said GO! a jolt of adrenaline ran through me."