Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Word Play

Patrick Creadon, 2006
94 minutes, color documentary
7 and up, rated PG for mild reasons detailed in the review of this movie at Kids-in-Mind

Using NPR puzzlemaster and New York Times puzzle editor Will Shortz as a focal personality, this documentary is all about crosswords, those who make them and those who complete them—in well under five minutes, every week and at an annual competition held in Connecticut since 1975. Kids should enjoy the story of how Shortz, at a young age, determined to spend his life with puzzles and created his own college major—enigmatology—to prepare himself for his chosen vocation. Others will be amused by the longstanding rule of etiquette that prevents anything remotely scatological from being used in a crossword, a state of affairs that vexes puzzle constructors in need of vowel-rich words like "enema". The DVD comes with lots of bonus features for extra fun that should inspire a run on crossword books at your house.

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