There are many interesting facts about crosswords. They really do have a fascinating history. Here is just a small selection of about these ever-popular puzzle games. Add these facts about crosswords to your general knowledge.
- Crossword solvers are called “cruciverbalists”.
- People who write crosswords (and other puzzles) are called “enigmatologists”.
- The first crossword puzzle, as we know it, was written by Arthur Wynne, and was published in New York World in December 1913.
- Crosswords were banned in Paris during the second World War in case they were used to pass secret messages to the enemy.
- The Guinness Book of Records lists the largest ever crossword as 7′x7′ in size, 91,000 squares and 28,000 clues.
- The Times Crossword puzzle was first published in 1930.
- In the 1930s, an architect by the name of Alfred Mosher Butts decided to create a board game based on the principles of the crossword puzzle, which at the time was a very popular pastime. The game was called Scrabble.
- The oldest crossword competition in the world is the Annual American Crossword Puzzle Tournament which began in 1978.
- The Japanese crossword is called a nonogram and is also referred to as ‘paint by numbers’ and it does not involve filling in word clues.
- The fastest completion time of a New York Times crossword was set in 1996 by Stanley Newman. he did it in 2 mins 14 secs.
- Word square puzzles were found in the ruins of Pompeii.
- Australian enigmatologist David Astle’s Cluetopia (2013) documents the first 100 years of the crossword puzzle… a great read.
- In the 2014 movie The Imitation Game, starring Benedict Cumberbatch and Keira Knightley, Bletchley Park codebreakers are selected based on their speed in solving a cryptic crossword!
- National Crossword Day will be held on 21 December 2020.
We are sure there are more fascinating facts about crosswords out there. If you come across some, please let us know.