Recently Google honored British crossword puzzle inventor Arthur Wynne through its Google Doodle, as the last weekend marked the first ever crossword puzzle published in 1913 on December 21, in the New York World.
It was explained by crossword constructor Merl Reagle in the Washington Post that Wynne drew a diamond shaped grid and numbered the squares and the clues. The grid contained 32 words and his simple instructions were, “Fill in the small squares with words which agree with the following definitions.”
The Google Doodle had a custom puzzle designed by Reagle, which could be saved while you leave the screen and could be continued later.
The best part was that the puzzle was create by Reagle at the last minute after another puzzle creator had already published a homage to Wynne but that was replaced as it was too familiar.
In honor of Wynne, NPR has published a version of the original crossword grid and updated it with clues and words and highlighted it with a cheeky headline, ‘100 years of Solvitude’.
Deb Amlen, crossword puzzle writer for the New York Times, told the Atlantic in an interview that crossword puzzles bring people together and how technology had transformed the entire idea of a crossword puzzle and how people play.
A documentary about renowned New York Times puzzle editor Will Shortz called Wordplay is also available which focusses solely on the 2005 American Crossword Puzzle Tournament and features celebs like Jon Stewart and Bill Clinton.