Bill Clinton: “solving problems like puzzles” in ‘Wordplay’ (documentary)

“Sometimes you have to go at a problem the way I got at a complicated crossword puzzle.”

“Sometimes I picked up the Saturday New York Times crossword puzzle and I’ll go through way over half the clues before I’ll know the answer to one. And the you start with what you know the answer to and you just build on it. And eventually you can unravel the whole puzzle. And so I rarely work a puzzle of any difficulty from one across and one down all the way to the end in a totally logical fashion. And I think a lot of difficult complex problems are like that. You have to find some aspect of it you understand and build on it until you can unravel the mystery that you’re trying to understand.”

Nearly anybody can learn nearly anything they need to know. Nature has something to do with it, but I think nurture has something to do with it. I mean, I think nature made Einstein’s massive brain and made him what he was. But nurture can make nearly everyone seem to be above average intelligence if they have the right sort of nurturing early as well as the right kind of formal schooling and academic challenges and adults who believe in them when they’re children. I really believe it’s a little bit of both, but I think most of us are, um, we’re all capable of doing more than we think.

  1. Hi Ellis,
    I so love 1) that you saw this movie, 2) that you picked this clip of Bill Clinton, and 3) that you wrote about it in your blog. Thank you! I love how he shows how a simple game like a crossword puzzle develops problem-solving and strategic skills. LOVE IT!
    -Pam Kato (proud to be an American when we have a liberal president)

  2. Very happy to read your comment on this post!
    So much to learn from your country and your culture, thank you very much!
    Hope we meet soon again, hope even more to discuss gaming as a medium with you soon again!
    Many greetings!

  3. HI Maria,Thanks for all these postings on your trip blog. We check everdyay to see what you’re up to. This is better than seeing the pics when you get back. We get to see the trip as it’s happening and hear what you think about where you are at that moment. It’s cool. Continue to have a great time. Carol Mat

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