Tuesday, December 24, 2013

The Interesting Background of the 100-Year Old Crossword Puzzle

On December 21, 1913 ArthurWynne published the first crossword puzzle in the US newspaper New York World where he worked as an editor. It was supposed to be a gimmick on the fun page of the newspaper’s Christmas edition.
As it turned out, it was just the beginning of a global phenomenon. People were enticed and wanted more. The newspaper included a weekly crossword puzzle in its Sunday edition. (Fun fact: the crossword puzzle was first referred to as the “wordcross” puzzle.)

By 1924, the crossword puzzle had become so popular, that journalist Louis Hinrichs of The Times referred to it in 1924 as “an insidious activity” that “the US of A is addicted to”.

By that time, most newspapers had incorporated the crossword puzzle tradition. Solving the crossword puzzle has become a favorite pastime by the readers of the morning edition around the world.
Publisher Simon & Schuster quickly indentified a marketing opportunity and published the first crossword puzzle book. The company was able to sell hundreds of books.
The renowned The Times crossword puzzle started in 1930. The Times asked its readers to answer in Classic Greek and Latin in order to preserve its elite image.  The Times published its 25,000the crossword puzzle in November 2011.

The world-famous crossword puzzle was used as an HR tool during WWII. To find out if potential code crackers were any good, the British government asked them to solve a tricky crossword puzzle of The Daily Telegraph. 

The first Dutch crossword puzzle appeared in the Dutch magazine “Het Leven” (The Life) on January 24, 1925. 

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