If you are an avid newspaper reader, after reading the news you might find yourself craving a good brain tease. One popular brain tease in newspapers is crossword puzzles. When sitting down and solving crossword puzzles – whether from a newspaper, a collection of crossword puzzles you grabbed from your local bookstore or something fun to do online while bored – have you ever thought about the origin story of crossword puzzles? How did crossword puzzles originate and how did they get so popular?
The first crossword puzzle was published on December 21, 1913, in the New York World. The creator of the crossword puzzle, Arthur Wynne, was a journalist from Liverpool, United Kingdom. Wynne enjoyed solving challenging puzzles himself, and set out to create one of his own. Before this brain teaser was was widely known as the crossword puzzle, it was called Word-Cross. Crossword puzzles used to be diamond-shaped with no filler black boxes. The shape of the crossword puzzles was later changed by Wynne to what we know today.
Crossword puzzles quickly gained popularity. The first crossword puzzle books were published in 1924, here in the United States. In 1997, crossword puzzles became digital – making crossword puzzles more accessible than ever! There is no known year to when Crossword Puzzle Day began, but it is celebrated on December 21st which is the same day the first puzzle was published. Many people enjoy crossword puzzles to pass time, but there are several other benefits to doing crossword puzzles.
Whether it be today, December 21, or next time you find yourself needing a mental break or challenge here are a few online crossword puzzles for you to tackle. Or, if you want to; try out the first published crossword puzzle!