Ozzily Yours

Monday, June 26, 2006

"He Wouldn't Stop Calling Us!"

On Saturday night, the husband and I went to see Wordplay, the documentary about New York Times Crossword Editor Will Shortz and other crossword fanatics. Upon arriving at the theater, we were happily surprised to learn that Patrick Creadon, the director, was in town on a promotional jaunt (apparently he's a Chicago native, so I think he was also pleased to have an excuse to visit), and would do a Q&A session after the film was over.

I'd highly recommend the movie, and not just because I'm a puzzle geek. As Creadon observed, "It's like when you make a documentary about a band you love, and you want to show people why you love that band... you're not making it for the hardcore fans, you're making it for everyone else." He's really hoping that people who don't love crossword puzzles and gaming will still find something special in this project.

Anyway, there were lots of questions about his processes (both artistic and financial), the world of crossword puzzling, the annual crossword tournament, etc. Pretty quickly, however, one audience member threw out the question, "So how'd you get Bill Clinton to appear?" Clinton is just one of many big names to espouse his love of The New York Times Crossword Puzzle onscreen, but it seems this questioner was particularly impressed by his inclusion. Creadon, however, replied, "He wouldn't stop calling us!" Apparently the former president was incredibly enthusiastic and excited about being a part of the documentary, and had an awful lot to say on the subject.

Creadon then observed, "Jon Stewart was a lot harder, though... until we called his people and told them Bill Clinton was going to be in it, and then they were like, 'Wait, who else is in this movie? Really? OK, hey, next week's wide open, what's good for you guys?'"


  • Can you even form a mental image of Bush doing the NYT crossword puzzle?

    Okay, let me rephrase that. Can you even form a mental image of Bush doing the NYT crossword puzzle without making up words?

    By Anonymous Moth, at 6/27/2006 6:48 AM  

  • Nope.

    That said, I think it's important to note that Bob Dole was interviewed as well (and I have no trouble imagining him completing the NYT crossword). His sense of humor continues to be awesome, too - his first onscreen comment was something to the extent of, "Well, the whole 1996 election was kind of a puzzle to me."

    By Blogger mcm, at 6/27/2006 9:19 AM  

  • In the movie, Clinton has kind of remarkable things to say about how he looks at the puzzle and how he solves problems nonlinearly. And in my head I couldn't help doing a side-by-side comparison: Clinton was on screen saying things like, "When you approach a complicated problem, you have to start with what you know," and in my head I thought about Bush saying things like, "I like pudding. Pudding... is delicious."

    It makes me sad.

    By Blogger melz3000, at 6/27/2006 10:44 AM  

  • It is the whole Jeopardy/Wheel of Fortune comparison (apologies to whatever comedian did this first):

    Today on Jeopardy let's meet Jane our returning champion. She is a physicist and has applied for a patent for cold fusion.


    Today, let's meet our Wheel of Fortune contestant Ron. He is fascinated by small shiny objects and collects dixie cups in his spare time.

    By Anonymous Moth, at 6/27/2006 9:15 PM  

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