WORDPLAY is a film about obsession and there are no better representatives of that phenomenon than filmmaker Patrick Creadon and crossword puzzle-maker Merl Reagle. The particulars are all things word, as Reagle demonstrated by anagramming my name, but there is a universal quality to it. Creadon and Reagle proved conclusively during our talk on May 25, 2006 that it’s the lucky people who have something that they feel passionately about and can pursue with wild abandon, whether it be creating puzzles, or filming those that that create them, as well as the ones who live to solve them, including Bill Clinton, Jon Stewart, and a room full of crossword fanatics all competing to see who is best at the sport.
Favorite moments from our talk? Creadon explaining how he landed Clinton for a segment, and Reagle talking about the pugnacious way Stewart attacks the crossword puzzles Reagle designs. Reagle also talked about what it was like to be filmed while whipping one up. Most interesting thought? That would be from Creadon, who opined that perhaps people who don’t like crossword puzzles might like the film best.
NB: This interview was recorded while I was still using a cassette recorder, and the quality is a bit fuzzy.