Today is the 100th birthday of the crossword puzzle. First published on this date in the New York World, it was known as a “word-cross” puzzle until an apparent typesetter’s error a decade later would give us the name we know today.
And it was about that same time that rules were established for a puzzle to be a true crossword:
– The pattern shall interlock all over.
– Only approximately one-sixth of the squares shall be black.
– The design shall be symmetrical.
– Obsolete and dialectic words may be used in moderation if plainly marked and accessible in some standard dictionary.…
– Abbreviations, prefixes and suffixes should be avoided as far as possible.
– …definitions may be of the safe and sane dictionary kind, may be literary or historical, may employ secondary meanings cleverly, may be legitimately funny.
But the big question is: do you do yours in pencil or pen?