We wacky cruciverbalists!!!

Posted Dec 7 2017, 8:59 pm

 

Who else ‘sides me loves to work crossword puzzles? If y’all do, then you’re a CRUCIVERBALIST – Yep, the word means a crossword puzzle enthusiast. And those savvy, smart folks who compile our fun games are actually called ‘SETTERS’ – These setters employ wordplay gimmicks & themes to make their ‘solvers’ [that would be us – ­čśÇ ] sweat!!!

 

The most prolific crossword ‘setter’ of all time is Roger Squires who has to date authored well over 75,000 puzzles.

 

But we must go allllll the way back to New York City in 1900, for the whole story. That’s when a man named Arthur Wynne left Liverpool, England & onion farming to learn journalism in America. Upon arriving on U.S. shores, he found work at Joseph Pulitzer’s [yes, THAT man, who upon his death, bequeathed $2Million to Columbia University & they created the Pulitzer Prizes for literature in 22 categories in his honor] newspaper called The New York WORLD [founded in 1860 & purchased by Pulitzer in 1883].

 

 

Inspired by the ancient word game Satar Squares [first played in 1AD Pompeii – a tablet reflecting this is one of the few items that survived the Mt. Vesuvius explosion], which read the same backward as forward, Wynne expanded on the simple game/idea & decided to provide ‘clues’ for what word he wanted in a certain empty space.

 

VOILA!! The first crossword, a diamond-shaped pattern one, appeared on December 21st, 1913 under the heading of WORD CROSS PUZZLE. But a typesetting error by Pulitzer reversed the words to CROSS WORD PUZZLE & an instant hit was born.

 

Then, in 1924, two young & fervent cruciverbalist journalist friends, decided to enter the publishing world. They asked the New York World to compile a group of Wynne’s puzzles together so they could make a ‘book-of-sorts’ out of them. Of course, Pulitzer & Wynne complied. And soon the very first Crossword puzzle booklet, with a pencil attached, was released by the brand new Simon & Shuster publishing ‘group’…Rave reviews followed & in the spring of 1942 even the competition, The New York Times, began printing up a crossword puzzle – & now THEIR puzzle remains, to this day, the most difficult one to solve. So, Klatchers, that’s how the whole madness began! Woohoo…Now, if only I could solve today’s 2 across!

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