Wordplay is a 2006 documentary film directed by Patrick Creadon. It features Will Shortz, the editor of the New York Times crossword puzzle, crossword constructor Merl Reagle, and many other noted crossword solvers and constructors. The second half of the movie is set at the 2005 American Crossword Puzzle Tournament (ACPT), where the top solvers compete for a prize of $4000.
The movie focuses on the following crossword solvers:
Ellen Ripstein: editor living in New York City and 2001 ACPT champion. She is also known for her baton twirling.
Trip Payne: professional puzzlemaker living in South Florida and three-time ACPT Champion. He held the record as the youngest champion after winning the tournament in 1993 at the age of 24.
Tyler Hinman: student at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, New York. At the 2005 ACPT, he challenged Trip Payne for the title of youngest champion ever.
Jon Delfin: pianist living in New York City and seven-time ACPT champion.
Al Sanders: project manager at Hewlett-Packard in Fort Collins, Colorado. He is a frequent finalist at the ACPT.
The movie contains appearances by many celebrity fans of the Times puzzle, including Bill Clinton, Bob Dole, Jon Stewart, Ken Burns, Mike Mussina, and the Indigo Girls.
Wordplay features a theme song, "Every Word," written and performed by Gary Louris of The Jayhawks. The Wordplay DVD features a music video of "Every Word."