Did you know that on December 21, 1913 the first crossword puzzle was published in New York World? The creator was Arthur Wynne a Scottish journalist. In those early days, most folks thought the crossword puzzle was a waste of time but the idea quickly took off and the iconic New York Times crossword was born in 1942. Crossword puzzles are an excellent way to build vocabulary and make connections inside your brain.
If you really love crossword puzzles, consider entering the American Crossword Puzzle Tournament (March 8-10, 2013) in Brooklyn, NY. From the event's website: "Directed by New York Times Crossword Puzzle Editor Will Shortz, this is the nation's oldest and largest crossword competition. Solvers tackle eight original crosswords created and edited specially for this event. Scoring is based on accuracy and speed. Prizes are awarded in more than 20 categories, including a $5,000 grand prize. Evening games, guest speakers, and a wine and cheese reception allow solvers to meet each other in a relaxed and entertaining atmosphere."
Start or continue a love of crossword puzzles at these sites:
- USA Today Puzzles - Free! Play online. Great for beginners (it tells you when you are wrong) or a quick puzzle-working session.
- NY Times Learning Network - Free! Play online or print. Themed puzzles like Bodies of Water, Women's Suffrage, and Fairy Tales.
- Chicago Sun Times - Free! Play online or print. A new puzzle every day.
- Brendan Emmett Quigley - Free! Play online or print. Two new puzzles a week (Mondays and Thursdays). BEQ creates puzzles for the NY Times. His puzzles are often fun and full of modern references.
*Beware: if you love word puzzles, don't visit one of the above sites when you should be working. I became so distracted working on the puzzles that I delayed finishing this blog post for several hours!