We see the 28th, in Stamford, Connecticut, sweat out the contest, and moan when the guy who finishes first is disqualified because he forgot, in his haste, to fill in a couple of letters.
We get interviews with puzzle addicts Bill Clinton, Mike Mussina, Jon Stewart and Ken Burns. The genial charm of Times puzzle editor Will Shortz, who talked Indiana University into letting him major in enigmatology and cheerfully shares his hate mail, keeps the film from seeming a NYT infomercial. So does this writer's longtime favorite puzzle constructor, Merl Reagle. Demonstrating how a puzzlemaker's mind works, he memorably remarks that if you move the "D" in Dunkin' Donuts to the end of the word, you'd get Unkind Donuts.