About Crossword Puzzle Day
On December 21st 1913, Arthur Wynne, a journalist from Liverpool, England, published a "word-cross" puzzle in the New York World that embodied most of the features of the modern genre. This puzzle is frequently cited as the first crossword puzzle and Wynne as the inventor. It is this date that is used as the day for Crossword Puzzle Day.
Crosswords have different appearances and variations depending on the country and language system. In North America and Britain, it is considered traditional for crossword grids to have 180-degree rotational symmetry for the patterns of the puzzle to appear the same if the paper is turned upside down. Hebrew crosswords only use consonants, and Japanese crosswords use one syllable per square, instead of one letter.
Crosswords were banned in Paris during World War II in case they were used to pass secret messages to the enemy. In fact, in 1944, allied security officers thought journalists were sharing top secret information when a series of Telegraph crosswords included secret code words for military operations. Investigators later concluded that the incident was nothing more than a coincidence. However, Britain’s central decryption establishment, Bletchley Park, asked its cryptologists to solve a Daily Telegraph crossword in less than 12 minutes as part of its recruitment process
The fastest completion time of a New York Times crossword puzzle was set in 1996 by Stanley Newman – a puzzle creator, editor, and publisher – who completed the puzzle in 2 minutes 14 seconds.