This is a puzzling world

By Rosie Moore

I love doing crossword puzzles. The  New York Times puzzle in News Sentinel’s Sunday paper is too hard and the other one below it, called the United Features Puzzle, is too easy. The one in the daily newspaper is very easy and always includes the same clues, but I still do it. They all give my brain a good workout.

Crossword puzzles are said to be the most popular and widespread word game in the world, yet have a short history. The first one  appeared in England during the 19th century. The  first known published puzzle was created by a journalist named Arthur Wynne from Liverpool. He is usually credited as the  inventor of the popular word game. It appeared in a Sunday newspaper on December 21, 1913 and was diamond-shaped with no black squares.

The first puzzles were of an elementary kind apparently derived from the word square, a group of words arranged so the letters read alike horizontally and vertically, and were printed in children’s puzzle books and various periodicals. In the United States, however, the puzzle developed into a serious adult pastime.

The  first appearance of a crossword in a British publication was in Pearson’s Magazine in February, 1922 and the first Times crossword appeared February 1, 1930. The British quickly developed their own style which was more difficult than the American variety and governing rules for cryptic puzzles were laid down by A.F. Ritchie and D.S. Macnutt. These people set the standard of what to expect from a quality crossword puzzle.

I have spent many enjoyable moments doing crossword puzzles. Puzzles where you Seek words are not my thing, however, and puzzles working with numbers, like Sudoku are way beyond me. I’m much better with words.

Thought for the day: The Grand essentials of happiness are: something to do, something to love, and something to hope for.    Allen K. Chalmers.

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