Your Ancestors and Crossword Puzzles

Working crossword puzzles have been a popular activity for many of you and your ancestors for years. The earliest ones were during the 1800s in England with a groups of words arranged so the letters read alike vertically and horizontally. They were usually in children’s puzzle books. Once introduced in the United States the crossword puzzle was enjoyed by adults.

On Sunday, December 21, 1913, Arthur Wynne, a journalist originally from Liverpool, England, published a “word-cross” puzzle” (its original name) in the New York World that embodied most of the features of the modern genre. This diamond-shaped puzzle is frequently cited as the first crossword puzzle and Wynne as the inventor. He wanted something that was fun and as a brain teaser. A while later, he added blank black squares to create separations in the puzzle grid. By the early 1920s, other newspapers across the United States featured these puzzles. Books with many crossword puzzles to solve started being published in 1924. The famed New York Times crossword puzzle started in 1942.

People found the puzzle to be mentally challenging with a sense of purpose and achievement. Even with people beginning to use computers in the 1990s, the first computerized version of crossword puzzles was available on computers in 1997 with a game titled ‘Crossword Weaver’.

So here is a family aspect that can be added. Did you have just one family member who loved doing crossword puzzles, or several family members? Was there a race to see who would complete a puzzle first? Check it out with your relatives.

Photo: First puzzle by Arthur Wynne in Dec. 21, 1913 – New York World paper.

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< Return To Blog My mom loves crossword puzzles. She has worked them before she could spell! She has problems finding ones challenging enough for her. My father-in-law worked crossword puzzles, too. He created his own crossword puzzle dictionary. Myself, I'm not really into them. I do one occasionally but since I don't do them often enough, I usually can't finish them. I never thought to put that in someone's bio.
Sara N Martin 19/06/21

Oh yes, with your mom so loving crossword puzzles and your father-in-law - do add about that favorite activity.
alice 19/06/21

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