A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006.

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Entry from January 29, 2005
Crossword Puzzle
The New York World helped to invent the "cross word puzzle." The New York Times helped to popularize it.

American Crossword Puzzle Tournament
Crossword puzzles are said to be the most popular and widespread word game in the world, yet have a short history. The first crosswords appeared in England during the 19th century. They were of an elementary kind, apparently derived from the word square, a group of words arranged so the letters read alike vertically and horizontally, and printed in children's puzzle books and various periodicals. In the United States, however, the puzzle developed into a serious adult pastime.

The first known published crossword puzzle was created by a journalist named Arthur Wynne from Liverpool, and he is usually credited as the inventor of the popular word game. December 21, 1913 was the date and it appeared in a Sunday newspaper, the New York World. Wynne's puzzle (see below) differed from today's crosswords in that it was diamond shaped and contained no internal black squares. During the early 1920's other newspapers picked up the newly discovered pastime and within a decade crossword puzzles were featured in almost all American newspapers. It was in this period crosswords began to assume their familiar form. Ten years after its rebirth in the States it crossed the Atlantic and re-conquered Europe.

(Oxford English Dictionary)
crossword, cross-word
In full crossword puzzle. A puzzle in which a pattern of chequered squares has to be filled in from numbered clues with words which are written usu. horizontally and vertically, occas. diagonally. Also attrib. and Comb.
1914 N.Y. World 6 Dec. ('Fun') 7/2 Solution to last week's cross-word puzzle.

21 December 1913, New York (NY) World, Fun section, pg. 4:
FUN'S Word-Cross Puzzle.

4 January 1914, New York (NY) World, Fun section, pg. 8:
Find the Missing Cross Words.

11 January 1914, New York (NY) World, Fun section, pg. 12:
Fun's Cross-Word Puzzle. (...) The fourth in Fun's series of new cross word puzzles is given herewith.

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityMedia/Newspapers/Magazines/Internet • Saturday, January 29, 2005 • Permalink


Crossword puzzles are said to be the most popular and widespread word game in the world, yet have a short history.

Definitely—my favorite pastime.

Posted by Kakuro  on  09/13  at  01:08 AM

I like to play these kind of mind games. Currently I am working in a company and have more work load but when ever I have free time, I always prefer to play scrabble game. It is also a puzzle game.

Posted by Scrabble Word Finder  on  06/04  at  04:44 AM

I also love these games, espacially the math crosswords.

Posted by Alfunstuff  on  06/05  at  02:21 PM

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