“People who work crossword puzzles know that if they stop making progress, they should put the puzzle down for a while.”~ Marilyn vos Savant
This weekend is the 100th birthday of the crossword puzzle. I know that many of us, if not all, have done one of these a time or two in our lives. Some are good at it, some are great at it. And some not so much. But we’ve all given it our best shot.
A crossword is a word puzzle that normally takes the form of a square or a rectangular grid of white and black shaded squares. The goal is to fill the white squares with letters, forming words or phrases, by solving clues which lead to the answers. In languages that are written left-to-right, the answer words and phrases are placed in the grid from left to right and from top to bottom. The shaded squares are used to separate the words or phrases.
On December 21, 1913, Arthur Wynne, a journalist from Liverpool, England, published a “word-cross” puzzle in the New York World that embodied most of the features of the genre as we know it. This puzzle is frequently cited as the first crossword puzzle, and Wynne as the inventor. Later, the name of the puzzle was changed to “crossword”.
Crossword puzzles became a regular weekly feature in the World, and spread to other newspapers; the Boston Globe, for example was publishing them at least as early as 1917.
And there’s your fun fact blog post. Enjoy.