Night at the Movies


I caught Wordplay at the Michigan Theater last night, an entertaining documentary on the world of crossword puzzles. As most people reading this probably know, it features a brief cameo by The Dan and a few other folks you might recognize if you’re a mystery hunter (like Kiran Kedlaya of Setec). Even if Dan hadn’t had a cameo, I still would have been highly entertained by the film — Jon Stewart has some hysterical scenes explaining his love for the Times Crossword and it’s fun to watch Merl Reagle’s thought process as he constructs a puzzle. Also, if Mike Mussina didn’t pitch for the MFNYY, I think he would be the perfect man — a Stanford alum with a 90+ MPH fastpitch who does crossword puzzles in the dugout? I think I’m in love (except for that whole Yankees thing).
There’s also something oddly charming and comforting about watching a bunch of quirky nerdy types getting together in their element. I felt the same way watching Spellbound (the spelling bee documentary, not the Hitchcock film), and it reminds me of ARML meets from high school. (Oddly, it didn’t remind me of the Hunt that much — probably because of the individual vs. team competition aspect.) All in all, I highly recommend the film to everyone, even the non-crossword nerds.
But the best part of going to see the movie? A preview for this!


2 responses »

  1. A couple of quick points, not to quibble or anything, but Erin was not raised to use profanity in such a glib manner. And never, ever, under any circumstances was the phrase New York Yankee, or any permutation thereof, to be uttered out loud. They were to be lumped with onions, the National League and He Who Is Not To Be Named. (I only mention the NL in passing, since it only exists in the world of suits and Republicans and is a constance mix of contradiction. It has been said that most NL’ers are closet NASCAR fans and RedSox wannabe’s. In short, beneath contempt.)
    If one couldn’t be a Twins fan, than either the Orioles or Athletics would have to suffice. But all this was in the days before used-car salesmen ran the sport of the gods.
    I suspect with Spellbound and WordPlay a moving expose of the world of competitive Monopoly must be on the drawing board. Perhaps a Pixar version for the entire family.

  2. Russ – I disagree. With the runaway success of WordPlay, I think the next box-office-smashing documentary will be about Scrabble. 🙂

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