FYI December 21, 2018

On This Day

1913 – Arthur Wynne’s “word-cross”, the first crossword puzzle, is published in the New York World.
Arthur Wynne (June 22, 1871 – January 14, 1945) was the British-born inventor of the modern crossword puzzle.

Early life
Arthur Wynne was born on June 22, 1871, in Liverpool, England and lived on Edge Lane for a time. His father was the editor of the local newspaper the Liverpool Mercury.[1] He emigrated to the United States on June 6, 1891, at the age of 19,[2] settling for a time in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.[dead link][3]

While in Pittsburgh, Wynne worked on the Pittsburgh Press newspaper.[3] and played the violin in the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra.[4] He later moved to New York City and worked on the New York World newspaper. He is best known for the invention of the crossword puzzle in 1913, when he was a resident of Cedar Grove, New Jersey.[5]

Wynne created the page of puzzles for the “Fun” section of the Sunday edition of the New York World. For the December 21, 1913, edition, he introduced a puzzle with a diamond shape and a hollow center, the letters F-U-N already being filled in. He called it a “Word-Cross Puzzle.”[6]

Although Wynne’s invention was based on earlier puzzle forms, such as the word diamond, he introduced a number of innovations (e.g. the use of horizontal and vertical lines to create boxes for solvers to enter letters). He subsequently pioneered the use of black squares in a symmetrical arrangement to separate words in rows and columns. With the exception of the numbering scheme, the form of Wynne’s “Word-Cross” puzzles is that used for modern crosswords.[6]

A few weeks after the first “Word-Cross” appeared, the name of the puzzle was changed to “Cross-Word” as a result of a typesetting error.[5] Wynne’s puzzles have been known as “crosswords” ever since.

Later life and death
Arthur Wynne became a naturalized US citizen in the 1920s.[7] He died in Clearwater, Florida, on January 14, 1945.[4]

On December 20, 2013, he was honored with an interactive Google Doodle commemorating the “100th anniversary of the first crossword puzzle”[8][9][10] with a puzzle by Merl Reagle. Numerous other constructors also created tribute puzzles to Wynne to commemorate the anniversary.

Recreation of Arthur Wynne’s crossword puzzle from December 21, 1913


Born On This Day

1866 – Maud Gonne, Irish nationalist and political activist (d. 1953)
Maud Gonne MacBride (Irish: Maud Nic Ghoinn Bean Mac Giolla Bhríghde, 21 December 1866 – 27 April 1953) was an English-born Irish revolutionary, suffragette and actress. Of Anglo-Irish descent, she was won over to Irish nationalism by the plight of evicted people in the Land Wars. She also actively agitated for Home Rule.



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