I don't do crossword puzzles, and I've felt ashamed about that for years. As a word nerd with obsessive-compulsive tendencies and a brain full of trivia, I might have the personality for it, but crossword puzzles were always my mother's domain. A crossword puzzle fiend, the acknowledged master of all word games in my extended family, she was simply too intimidating an act to follow.
The documentary Wordplay, however, is so infectiously enthusiastic about crossword puzzles, its subject, that it made me want to get over my filial angst, pick up a pen and start filling in boxes. After all, I did beat Mom once in Scrabble — what a glorious day that was! — and as I haven't lived with my parents for years, I wouldn't have to fight her for the daily newspaper.