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WORDPLAY 

At last, cruciverbalists get their big-screen moment in Patrick Creadon's low-key documentary about crossword puzzles. The film is virtually a 90-minute ad for the New York Times crossword, but that puzzle truly has no equal for word-freaks. Among the interviewees: the perennially boyish Times puzzle editor Will Shortz; celebu-solvers such as Bill Clinton, Jon Stewart and Yankee pitcher Mike Mussina; and a handful of top competitors in Shortz's long-running annual tournament. It's not likely that Wordplay will create new puzzlers (you're either a X-word nut or not), but fans will surely be delighted by the behind-the-scenes peeks at puzzle construction, including the Times' infamous 2004 "Clinton/BobDole Elected" election-day puzzle. (Interviewee Dole again proves he's this era's funniest loser.) Meanwhile, back at the annual tournament, the three top solvers duke it out in a shocking conclusion ... no, really. (AH)

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