The History of Crosswords. How It Began.

The History of Crosswords. How It Began.
crossword history

The History of Crossword Puzzles

The crossword puzzles date back to 1933 when it appeared for the first time in the New York World Newspaper. The new game received a wide popularity among readers and soon it has become published in many newspapers all over the world. Despite the fact that modern industry of newspaper experiences rough times because it was pushed away by digital technologies, crossword puzzles didn’t become less popular. The game managed to adapt to new conditions and now it has already captured the digital environment. You can find lots of crosswords online, buy it or play for free. Crossword puzzles have become even more interesting today, though the game has significantly changed since its first publication.

How to Play Modern Crossword Puzzles

Many years have passed and today the new rules form the shape of American-style crossword.

  • The numeration of boxes is from left to right, from top to bottom.
  • Usually the minimal word length is three letters, but sometimes there can be exceptions.
  • The odd number of boxes should be always square (15×15 or 23×23).
  • Each letter can be used in several words.
  • There are no enclosed areas.


How They Create Crossword Puzzles

People who create crosswords are called constructors. In the beginning they used to create crosswords by hands, today they have a lot of different computer software at hand. The constructors try to make each crossword unique, but if you are an experienced player you may notice that some answers repeat in different puzzles.

When a constructor starts working on a new crossword puzzle, there is an algorithm that is necessary to obey. First, the constructor places theme answers, but it is necessary to follow the rules and if some answers don’t fit the concept, the constructor blacks them out. Sometimes it takes much time to do it, but when the constructor is satisfied with the received result, he moves forward and uses fill words to complete the puzzle. When the constructor finishes the puzzle, he must solve it to understand whether it is not too complex for a player to find the required answers. A crossword should be solvable, if it is too difficult, a player will lose interest in it, but it also shouldn’t be too simple because a player wants to test his/her knowledge. Hence, the goal of a constructor is to find the golden middle and provide a crossword which will require racking the brains to find the right answer, but will not make the player spend hours on each answer.

Variety of Crossword Puzzles

There is a wide majority of crossword puzzles. For example, a cryptic crossword is the most popular type of crosswords in the UK. It can be found almost in any daily newspaper. It is somewhat similar to the more conventional American crossword puzzles, except for one distinctive feature. As can be deduced from its name, the answer is encrypted in the clue, and what it says can actually have nothing to do with the answer. The crossword generator may seem useless with these crosswords, but if you know the first letter, it can still help you find Y words or lists with words that start with R.

Unlike its simpler variations, once you figure out the answer in a cryptic crossword, you will be certain that it is the correct one and not one of the many words starting with Y, because the clues are “self-checking”.


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