The History of Crossword Puzzles

Arthur Wynne

Arthur Wynne

The first crossword puzzle was published on December 21, 1913 by journalist Arthur Wynne. In it’s
earliest form, the crossword was set out in a diamond shape and lacked any of the black squares we are
accustomed to with today’s versions of the popular word puzzle.
First published in a Sunday newspaper, the concept was widely and positively welcomed by all. During
the 1920’s, other newspapers sniffed out the success of crosswords and in the small time frame of a
decade, crossword puzzles made their way into almost all American newspapers. This is when the
familiar, modern crossword form started to establish itself.

After another ten years of existence and circulation in the States, the crossword re-established itself in
Europe and took the continent by storm.
February, 1922 marked the first appearance of a crossword in British published Pearson’s Magazine.
Having well and truly made it’s name among newspapers and magazines alike, the Times published it’s
first crossword puzzle on February 1, 1930.
It was widely known that British crossword puzzles were markedly more difficult than those of American
creation. When the first versions of Cryptic crosswords were created, they gained popularity very
quickly. These new, much more difficult styles of crossword puzzles even gained their own governing
rules which were set out by A. F. Ritchie and D. S. Macnutt.

Such were the minds of these two that they were able to see words jumbled together in geometric
shapes. Not only that but their gift also allowed them to twist and mould words into wordplays and
witticisms that would have the human mind working like it never had before.
From then on out, the standard of quality for crossword puzzles was laid out. These gifted people were
able to develop personal styles of crossword puzzles that had word puzzle fans captivated. Since then,
millions of puzzles have been constructed by hand and many more are still to come.

Why should you play Crosswords?

A crossword is the easiest accessible word puzzle you can find. They appear in pretty much every
newspaper, can be created by anyone and are largely abundant online. When it comes to challenging yourself, crosswords provide all sorts of ways to achieve this. Quick crosswords bestow a relatively small, fast challenge whereas trickier Cryptic crosswords yield an almost ultimate challenge.

No matter what language you speak, very few can say they have completely mastered their own tongue.
That’s where word puzzles such as crosswords come into play. By having to find out what a word is
based on clues provided, you’re not only tapping into the logical part of your brain but you’re also
testing your own vocabulary.

Quick crosswords will give you rather easy clues that only require you to find an alternate meaning to
another word, or work out what a word is based on a brief description. These are generally quite simple
to achieve and are great for crossword beginners, children or those who are still learning a language.

Cryptic crosswords go so far as to test not only your vocabulary and general knowledge, but also see
how well you think in a philosophical or almost riddle-like way. It takes quite some time before one can
become accustomed to the challenges of a Cryptic crossword puzzle, but it’s always good to try one out
every now and then to see how well your brain is growing.

Another advantage of giving crosswords a go is it will help stave off problems that could reveal
themselves later on in life such as dementia and Alzheimer’s Disease. Your brain is like a muscle, the
more you engage it in life the healthier it will be and the longer it will keep working for you. A crossword
a day keeps dementia at bay.

List of Online Crossword Puzzles:

The Difference Between Quick and Cryptic Crosswords?

The Difference Between Quick and Cryptic Crosswords?

Crosswords are there to provide a challenge. These challenges can come in many forms be they
relatively easy to insanely complex. The most common difficulties of crosswords are Quick and Cryptic. Quick is the easier of the two and provides generally easy to understand clues. The reasoning for this is obviously because some people don’t have the time or patience to sit down with a dictionary/encyclopedia and spend potential hours on a word game. Clues provided in Quick crosswords are usually things such as alternate names for the word required or brief descriptions you could easily associate with that word. For example, a clue could be ‘What bargain hunters enjoy’ and the answer would be ‘sales’. This answer can be quite quickly come to based on how many squares there are to put letters in to create the word required.

Cryptic crosswords were created for word puzzle lovers who desire a true challenge. Where Quick
crosswords allow for a faster, smoother experience, Cryptic crosswords are there to keep you mulling
over a clue for as long as possible. Quite often, word puzzle fans can spend anywhere from minutes to
weeks on one puzzle depending on how their word skills are.

The types of clues you’ll find in cryptic crosswords are either very wordy, contain complex associations
or are philosophical in nature. One such example is as follows, ‘As seen in jab, reach of pro miserably
failing to meet expectations?’ the answer for this is ‘breach of promise’. The reasoning behind this
particular clue is that the answer is contained within the actual clue. ‘As seen in jaB, REACH OF PRO
MISErably failing…’. Some would call this cryptic, others might say it’s a cheap trick.
Be that as it may, a Cryptic crossword can be as deceitful as it needs to be, but a Quick crossword is
always going to be the easier option. It just depends how much time you have on your hands.

What is a Crossword?

What is a Crossword?Crosswords have been around for quite some time. The start of the 19th century saw the first crossword puzzle published in a Sunday newspaper by a journalist named Arthur Wynne on December 21, 1913.

Arthur, a Liverpudlian, is known to be the glorious inventor of the ever popular word game. His version of a crossword was dissimilar to those we are familiar with today. Instead of branching lengths of boxes to input letters into, his crossword was diamond shaped and lacked any of the black squares we see in today’s take on the challenging word game. It was with this initial puzzle that the world first learned how to master the art of crosswords.

The first ever crossword puzzle by Arthur Wynne in 1913

To put it simply, a crossword requires a player to fill in white squares with letters to create words based on clues provided.These lengths of white squares intersect and sometimes run parallel with one another. Such positionings allow for plenty of challenge when it comes to sitting down and solving one. Crosswords also come in different difficulties: some provide exceptionally easy clues whilst others, known as Cryptic crosswords give incredibly complex clues that can often leave one scratching one’s head in bemusement.

The crossword quickly became a common household past-time and to this day remains a very strong concept in our daily lives. You can still find crosswords in pretty much every newspaper, books dedicated to providing hundreds, if not thousands of crossword challenges are published en masse, and they’re also a wonderful learning aid for children throughout their school years.
With the rise of the internet, online crosswords and crossword generators have become easy and free to access whenever you want.

What once was a new concept has assimilated itself into the modern household. And being such a fun and commonly known game, it’s certainly set to stick around for many years to come.

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