I’m not very good at crossword puzzles. My dad, however, was schooled by Jesuits, did classics at university, taught English for decades, and collects useless information. If you wanted to build an elite special forces crossword-solving unit then that is probably how you would train its members. Since he is a connoisseur of the biggest and most cryptic puzzles, I was going to recommend to him a new movie that claims to tell the story of the United States’ most famous crossword setter Will Shortz (just as, a while back, I bought him this book the Christmas after it came out).
The first trailer for it has New York Yankees pitcher and crossword puzzler Mike Messina billing the New York Times crossword as the ultimate height to which all American solvers aspire. The second shows a bunch of celebrities, including Bill Clinton, tackling an actual NYTimes puzzle out loud in front of the cameras. The first two clues? “Missile warhead briefly (4)” and “She helped Theseus out of the labyrinth (7)”. I don’t think I’ll bother PooterGeek Snr with the links.