Mastodon Wordplay —


On Christine’s recommendation, we watched Wordplay, a documentary about the American Crossword Puzzle Tournament. It was wonderful. Will Shortz, editor of the NY Times Crossword and originator of the Tournament, was featured quite a lot, which was a treat for me — I know his name and voice very well, having been a GAMES magazine subscriber while he was editor and being an NPR Weekend Edition Sunday Puzzle fan. I knew Trip Payne’s name too — he’s contributed many a puzzle to the GAMES “Pencilwise” section. I wished the nice pessimistic grey-haired man, Al, had won the tournament.

Watching this movie got us all interested in crosswords. Dan and I worked one in my current issue of GAMES the other night and had the best time together. Today I had to go to the Escondido Barnes and Noble for a new Moleskine for Dan, and browsed through the crossword section, looking for a good book. I wanted NY Times puzzles, of course! Dan’s new at crosswords and I could use a refresher so I didn’t want to start with the Sunday puzzles, but a whole book of Mondays would probably get dull. I found the perfect book:

The New York Times Little Black (and White) Book of Crosswords, edited by Will Shortz

It’s a smallish (7″x6″) spiral-bound hardcover with puzzles ranging from Monday to Saturday, and rated 1-6 “top hats” so it’s easy to pick the proper difficulty. The paper is not the usual puzzle book newsprint, but high-quality, smooth and white. Dan and I worked the first Monday puzzle together tonight and had a ball :) It was hard to stop at just one!

Category: Blog 2 comments »

2 Responses to “Wordplay”

  1. Betsie

    The puzzles I enjoy the most are picture pixel puzzles… there are many available for free at (they often have puzzles in Games magazine too)…. very addictive.

  2. Annie

    I love crosswords and loved Wordplay. I’ll have to look into the book you got since I only like Times puzzles. It sounds like a good one!

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