Crossword Puzzle: You Think You Already Know

Okay, so you have answered a crossword puzzle (whether it is with or without any reference), but can truly say that you know important facts about the world’s most brilliant and played word puzzle?

Crossword puzzle has been around for decades. It has developed enthusiasts and haters alike, haters for those who were unable to finish one. According to some survey done recently, there are approximately 40 million people in the United States who answered the crossword puzzles daily.

Let check some amazing facts about crossword puzzles.

• Crossword puzzle creators are called “cruciverbalists”. Creating crosswords is called cruciverbalism. It came from the Latin word for cross and word. This term is rarely used, most of the times crossword creators are referred to as constructors. Outside the United States, crossword creators are also called setters or compliers.

• Word square puzzles were found in the ruins of Herculaneum in Pompeii. This can be said as the oldest “ancestor” of crossword puzzles. In these puzzles, the words appear vertically and horizontally. This is often referred to as the Sator word square.

• Arthur Wynne of England is the first creator of a crossword puzzle. It was first published in 1913.

• The first published crossword puzzle appeared in The New York World.

• The first crossword puzzle book was published and released by Simon & Schuster in 1920s. this signalled the craze over crossword puzzle.

• The first editor of the published crossword puzzle book was Margaret Petherbridge. When she got married, she was better known as Margaret Farrar.

• Because of the heights of the popularity of crossword puzzles in 1920s, there was a musical played on Broadway called Puzzles of 1925. The play was set in a crossword sanitarium.

• According to Publishers Weekly, during the 1920s there were 2 schools of puzzle solution. The first one are those who armed themselves with dictionaries, gazetteers and Latin phrase books. The second school is for those “who’d rather die in flames than consult a book.”

• Dell is the longest running crossword magazine in the United States since it was founded in 1931. It is still available in news stands until now.

• Crossword enthusiasts did not just settle with a musical, they asked for more. There was a music sheet inspired y a crossword puzzle in 1935. The sheet music showed a couple doing a crossword puzzle. It was called “Cross Words Between Sweetie and Me.”

• France banned the use of crossword during the Second World War for the fear that messages can reach the enemy through the puzzles. Actually, in 1944 there was a commotion in England when some telegraph solvers believed that some clues in a crossword puzzle were used to tip the Germans about military plans.

• The New York Times published its first crossword in 1930. The New York Times initially show disgust with the crossword craze. They said that it was only a temporary madness and will only last until the end of the 1920s. That did not happen and eventually they released their own first Sunday crossword puzzle.

• The Japanese have their own crossword version called nonogram but it does involve any word clues.

• The Guinness Book of Records say that the largest crossword is 7’X7’ in size, 91,000 squares and 28,000 clues. The largest published crossword puzzle has 3,185 clues across and 3,149 clues down. Robert M. Stilgenbauer, the creator, took 11 years of spare time to finish it.

• The fasted completion time of a New York Times crossword puzzle was set by Stanley Newman in 1996. He finished in within 2 minutes and 14 seconds. Completion of the London Times crossword lasted for 3 minutes and 45 seconds. It was set by Roy Dean on 1970.

And you thought you knew everything about crossword puzzles. Happy puzzling