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March 7, 2008 - Sunny Day
Hi Everyone! Well, I’m back! I hope you enjoyed reading my first blog. If you have questions about our newspaper or newspapers in general, ask me - and if I can, I’ll answer them.
This week’s feature is Crossword Puzzles! We know you really, really love ‘em because if we miss one – you call to find out why! That’s great!
We offer a crossword puzzle in each daily edition. We do not create them here, but have them provided by syndicated service. Did you know that crosswords are the most popular word puzzle in the world? They haven’t been around for too long - the first crosswords were created in 19th century England and were patterned after the word square. The word square has an older origin having been discovered in Pompeii and can be read in any direction.
Arthur Wynne is credited with being the inventor of the crossword puzzle and published the first one in December 1913 in the New York World. It was initially a weekly feature, not a daily and it was called a “word-cross puzzle”, eventually becoming the crossword puzzle. Believe it or not, the New York Times was one of the last papers to publish it as a regular feature.
Crossword puzzle constructors developed themes for their puzzle, which helped them to gain popularity with many readers.
Personal computers have done much to allow you to create your own crossword puzzles and while the early software was primitive, it has been greatly enhanced. This has allowed anyone to create crossword puzzles today, whereas in the beginning, they were created only by a few.
There are free-form style or skeleton puzzles that allow the constructor to use only their words. These puzzles are loosely put together and are a definite benefit for educators.
Crosswords are being done everywhere – by everyone! Over 40 million people in the US work and solve a daily crossword – many find them as you do in the newspaper. Some buy books of them thanks to a small firm who published a collection of them in book form back in 1924. The craze is here to stay! Crosswords sharpen your mind and provide you with moments of repose. And don’t forget – it is a fun way to learn new words and new meanings!
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