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Crossword Puzzle Day
Arts & Entertainment
Why are all these words so cross with me?

When: December 21st

Where: United States

Traditional Celebration Ideas

Pick up a copy of your daily newspaper in physical or digital form and find the crossword puzzle. Filling out the daily crossword puzzle is a great way to exercise your mind while your on the train or bus ride commuting to work.

Numbers

In the United States alone, there are over 25 million online crossword puzzle players.
 

Description

We have all come across ( pun intended :) the popular word search game known as the crossword puzzle at least once or twice.  Way back on December 21, 1913,  an English journalist named Arthur Wynne, published a  puzzle in a newspaper called the New York World that was in circulation from 1860 until 1931 that consisted of most of features  people identify with today in the modern crossword puzzles. Today these puzzles are found in daily newspapers around the world. Although originally referred to as "word-cross" the term later changed to be recognized as what we know today as the "cross-word."  The concept of the game is to fill out the white squares with letters in the process making phrases or actual words by solving clues, which leads the player to the answers.  The black squares are used in the separation of the words or phrases.  Crossword puzzles usually use one of several standard sizes such as the common 15×15 squares size that many daily newspapers use.  On the weekend newspapers tend to use the 21×21, 23×23, or 25×25 sizes.  As far as capitalization of the letters go, all the letters are in all caps.  In 1924 the famous publisher Simon & Schuster, published the first book of crossword puzzles that ended up being a great success for the company. 

Interesting Facts

  1. Crossword first showed up in the Oxford English Dictionary in 1933.
  2. The New York World was the first and only newspaper to print crosswords for a number of years until the popularity grew and other newspapers started to do the same.
  3. In 1944, officers in of the allied forces became alarmed when they noticed  a series of crosswords in The Daily Telegraph newspaper,  that were secret code names for the military operations being planned at the time.
  4. Having published more than 6000 crossword puzzles, Myles Mellor is one of the most prolific crossword constructor in the world. Myles currently publishes over 100 puzzles a month that can be seen in newspapers everywhere.
  5. Crossword Magic software was created for the Apple II in the 1980s was one of the earliest examples of software that aided constructors in creating puzzles.
     

Information

Observed:
  • December 21st
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