Interesting Facts About Crossword Puzzles

Crosswords have a fascinating history.  Here is just a small selection of interesting facts about these ever-popular puzzle games. We are sure there are more out there, so if you have anything to add, please let us know.

Did you know?
  • Crossword aficianados are called “cruciverbalists”. 
  • The first crossword puzzle, as we know it, was written by Arthur Wynne, and was published in New York World in December 1913.  Click here to see if you can solve it.
  • Crosswords were banned in Paris during the second World War in case they were used to pass secret messages to the enemy.
  • The Guinness Book of Records lists the largest ever crossword as 7′x7′ in size, 91,000 squares and 28,000 clues.
  • The Times Crossword  puzzle was first published in 1930.

  • In the 1930s, an architect by the name of Alfred Mosher Butts decided to create a board game based on the principles of the crossword puzzle, which at the time was a very popular pastime.  The game was called Scrabble.
  • The oldest crossword competition in the world is the Annual American Crossword Puzzle Tournament which began in 1978.
  • The Japanese crossword is called a nonogram and is also referred to as ‘paint by numbers’ and it does not involve filling in word clues.
  • The fastest completion time of a New York Times crossword was set in 1996 by Stanley Newman. he did it in 2mins 14 secs.
  • Word square puzzles were found in the ruins of Pompeii.
  • David Astle’s Cluetopia (2013) documents the first 100 years of the crossword puzzle… a great read!
  • National Crossword Day will be held on 21 December 2017.
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