CROSSWORDS: History. Milestones and Media

CROSSWORDS: History. Milestones and Media webadmin Sat, 01/15/2011 - 19:21


  • caveman thesaurusThere have been many word puzzles through the ages, some sharing aspects of our modern "crossword" (though none developed or distributed further)
  • 79: SATOR square [Roman Empire]
  • 1605: Newspapers [Germany]
  • 1890: Airoldi's "Per passare il tempo" [Italy]


  • paser stela1150 BC: 'Crossword Stela' of Paser, a 20th Dynasty Egyptian limestone stele, constructed by Paser, during the reign of Ramesses VI. It is constructed to be read horizontally, vertically and around its perimeter, therefore three times
  • 1st Millenium BC: In the Hebrew version of Psalm 119, each group of eight verses is an alphabetical acrostic (or abecedarius). "Subsections are named after the letters of the Hebrew alphabet, 'Aleph', 'Beth', etc. -- Acrostics prove that the texts in question were originally composed in writing, rather than having existed in oral tradition before being put into writing."
  • 169 BC: an acrostic poem by Quintus Ennius; the first letters of each line spelled out, 'Quae Q. Ennius fecit' (Q. Ennius wrote this).
  • < LXXIX (79): Sator Square in Pompeii (and elsewhere, and as "Rotas Square")
    Latin 4-way palindrome word square
    = "The sower [farmer], Arepo, guides the wheels [plough] with care."

    Romans used a chisel -- not ink !
    Christian significance
word square
  • guttenberg paper jam140: Paper China. display device and strorage medium





CROSSWORDS: 1900s webadmin Thu, 10/19/2017 - 11:54


  • blended squaresPeople's Home Journal blended squares



  • Wikipedia: 1900s
  • The Decades That Invented the Future: Part 1: 1900-1910 Theory of Relativity; Toaster Heating Element; Football's Forward Pass; Tanks; Vacuum Tube; Gas-Powered Mercedes; Nintendo (playing cards); A Trip to the Moon; Bakelite; Radio; FBI; Kodak Brownie; 10/8/2012
  • Paleofuture (predictions): 1900s


CROSSWORDS: 1910s webadmin Fri, 03/09/2012 - 08:23


  • jeopardy decade1913: Wynne's "FUN Word-Cross"
  • Besides New York World, other US newspapers begin to add cross words: Pittsburgh Press (1916), Boston Globe (1917)







  • section: Oreo
  • crossword stampWikipedia: 1910s
  • The Decades That Invented the Future: Part 2: 1910s Flip-Flop Circuit; Panama Canal; Golf in US; Fighter Planes; Prohibition; Erector Set; First Crossword Puzzle; Electric Household Refrigerator; Modern Assembly Line; Superconductivity; Nikon; Snap-On Wrench; 10/25/2012
  • Paleofuture: 1910s
  • 10 Lifehacks from 100 Years Ago How To: Make a Fire Extinguisher; Extract a Splinter;Preserve Eggs; Fell a Tree; Stop a Mad Dog; Keep Plants Watered While Away on Holiday; Light a Match in the Wind; Make a Chair to Cross a Stream; Rescue Someone from Electric Shock; Make a Water Filter -- from Gallaher's Cigarettes; 7/21/2013
  • What May Happen in the Next Hundred Years The Ladies' Home Journal; What the Future Looked Like 100 Years Ago -- and 5 Predictions That Came True; 2/24/2012



CROSSWORDS: 1920s webadmin Fri, 03/09/2012 - 08:27


  • menu"Crossword puzzles became a way of life in the 1920s...
  • "Another reason for the extraordinary success of crossword puzzles...
  • "The Pennsylvania Railroad...
  • "A New York man was arrested because...
  • dress"Pickpockets in hotel lobbies,...
  • Many "firsts" for crosswords in publications and culture. Much debate about fads and obsessions.
  • 1921: first dictionary
  • 1922: UK magazine: Pearson's
  • 1924: The Cross Word Puzzle Book -- 1st book by Simon & Schuster
  • UK newspaper Daily Express
  • crossword mamasong: "Crossword Mama You Puzzle Me (But Papa's Gonna Figure You Out)"
  • New York Herald-Tribune's National All Comers Cross Word Puzzle Tournament
  • crossword rules, e.g., rotational symmetry
  • 1925: musical revue: "Puzzles of 1925"
  • animated short Disney film: "Alice Solves the Puzzle"
  • mystery story: "The Fascinating Problem of Uncle Meleager's Will"
  • 1926: cryptic crossword in UK
  • A Budapest man committed suicide,...


  • Margaret Farrar (later, at Simon&Schuster, then even later, 1st NYT editor) is hired by The New York World as a secretary, but soon finds herself assisting Arthur Wynne with proofreading puzzles. Her puzzles soon exceed Wynne's in popularity.


  • quickway dictionary"The latest craze to strike libraries is the crossword puzzle...
  • In the 1920s, as now, there were 2 schools of puzzle solution fans:...
  • Colonel H.W. Hill publishes the first "Quickway" Crossword Dictionary.


  • Pearson's [1st UK magazine w/ crossword]
  • Morning Oregonian and other newspapers published a comic strip...



  • simon and schusterSimon & Schuster found a company to publish The Cross Word Puzzle Book...
  • "The cross word solver becomes a collector,...
  • "All ages, both sexes, highbrows and lowbrows,...
  • "Some folks were driven over the edge by the craze...
  • crossword mamaCrossword Mama You Puzzle Me (But Papa's Gonna Figure You Out) (song) (audio: 2:32); Will Shortz on NPR On the Media: Life Squared (interview; excerpts; 4:07-4:40;9:20-12:54); MayasMix @ 13:24; lyrics:
    "You treat me like an orphan in a storm / Crossword books won't keep my tootsies warm.
    Crossword Mama, you puzzle me / But Papa's gonna figure you out.
    Washington, he crossed the Delaware / Columbus crossed the ocean blue
    If there's any more crossing to be done / Papa's gonna double-cross you..."
  • Cross-word puzzle blues (song) (audio; 2:37)
  • Rotational symmetry was one of many crossword conventions established by the Amateur Crossword Puzzle League of America
  • Daily Express [1st UK newspaper w/ crossword]
  • Ruth Franc Von Phul won the New York Herald-Tribune's National All Comers Cross Word Puzzle Tournament the age of 20; NYT obituary
  • The Crossword Puzzle: Where'd The Women Go? 8/21/2013
  • "[The crossword] has grown from the pastime of a few ingenious idlers...


  • puzzles of 1925 mamaPuzzles of 1925 (musical revue); crossword sanitarium scene: solvers who had lost their minds. "Since Ma's Gone Crazy Over Cross Word Puzzles" (lyrics):
    "The house has gone to ruin / Since all that Mother's doin' /
    Is putting letters in the little squares /
    We live on canned tomatoes / And old cold boiled potatoes
    No wonder when he comes home / Father swears"
  • I've Got the Crossword Puzzle Blues (song) by D. J. Michaud and Marguerite A. Bruce; performed by jazz clarinettist Bob Fuller; "I'm feeling awfully down, and cross. I spend all day solving, but I still don't have a clue"
  • Alice Solves the Puzzle animated short Disney film
  • cross-words between sweetie and meCross-Words (Between Sweetie and Me) (song; 3:48);
    "Sorrow has torn at my heart strings / I wonder who is to blame
    My sweetie never has time for me / She's deep in love with a game
    Crosswords have made me blue as can be, / Cross, crosswords between my sweetie and me,
    She's been puzzling, don't seem to care / Whether I'm near her or taking the air
    I'm jealous. How can I win sympathy? I'm hoping she'll soon need L-O-V-E.
    Every night in our little home / We sit together, but I'm all alone.
    She's so contrary / Her old dictionary and crosswords are sweeter than me."
  • even more songs: Cross word papa you sure' do puzzle me;
    Cross-word puzzle of love; Cross words; Crosspuzz;
    Crossword (The) puzzle glide; Do you do cross-word puzzles;
    globeI'm a cross word puzzle fan; My cross-word puzzle girl;
    They're doing cross word puzzles now; Your cross-words are making me blue
  • That Guiltiest Feeling cartoon; Clare Briggs; cross word craze, covering earth
  • Felix All Puzzled Felix the Cat cartoon directed by Otto Messmer; Flash: 2:50
  • The Fascinating Problem of Uncle Meleager's Will (story; Lord Peter Wimsey) by Dorothy L. Sayers
  • Puzzled by Crosswords (movie; comedy)
  • crossword magazine"Judging from the number of solvers in the subway...
  • Range of opinions about crossword longevity:...
  • "Fortunately, the question of whether the puzzles are beneficial or harmful...
  • andrew hines"A New York Telephone Co. employee shot his...
  • (at right) 100-year old Ambrose Hines solving a puzzle in 1925
  • Popular interest in the 1920s is shown by aids which were marketed to help puzzle-solvers...
  • saturday evening postThe main interest among fans in the 1920s was in the puzzle as an aid to language development...





  • fancy dress circa 1920The Roaring 20s crossword; NYT Learning Network
  • Saucy "Crosswords" Postcards by Donald McGill in 1920s
  • Roaring Twenties: Fads The Charleston; 1st Miss America Pageant; Flagpole Sitting; Mah-Jongg; Crossword Puzzlel Book-of-the-Month Club; Time; Reader's Digest
  • Wikipedia: 1920s
  • The Decades That Invented the Future: Part 3: 1920s R.U.R. (robots); IBM 80-Column Punch Card; Amphibious Warfare; Art Deco; Babe Ruth; Tri-motor Airplane; Leica I and the 35mm Standard; Polygraph; Scopes Monkey Trial; McKinsey and Company; Traffic Light; Mickey Mouse; 11/2/2012
  • Paleofuture: 1920s


CROSSWORDS: 1930s webadmin Fri, 03/09/2012 - 08:29


  • crisscross"Together with The Times of London, yours [NYT] is...
  • 1931: Dell Crossword Puzzle Magazine
  • 1938: Scrabble; Bletchley Park
  • 1939: Frank Lewis
  • "By the late 1930s, the crossword puzzle boom...


  • dictionarythe term "crossword" first appeared in a dictionary





  • Wikipedia: 1930s
  • The Decades That Invented the Future: Part 4: 1930s Radar; Works Progress Administration; Schrödinger's Cat; Pop Culture Characters; Nylon; Z1 computer by Zuse; Ballpoint Pen; Kodachrome; Mildred "Babe" Didrikson Zaharias; War of the Worlds; Electric Pinball; Volkswagen Beetle; 11/9/2012
  • Paleofuture: 1930s


CROSSWORDS: 1940s webadmin Fri, 03/09/2012 - 08:31


  • utahCrosswords were banned in Paris during the Second World War,...
  • 1942: NYT
  • 1944: D-Day


  • nyt wwii"We ought to proceed with the puzzle, especially...


  • "The Herald Tribune runs the best puzzle page in existence so far, but...
  • first NYTNYT inaugurates a puzzle page; 2/15/1942; "There will be two puzzles each Sunday --...
  • Sunday NYT later becomes popular stereotype of 'most difficult' puzzle
    -- even though NYT Fri & Sat are harder; it's like a hard Wed or easy Thu NYT crossword
  • The Quick 10: The New York Times Crossword Puzzle trivia about NYT crossword; 8/20/2009
  • History of the NYT Crossword: Wikipedia; Barry Haldiman
  • The New York Times Celebrates 75 Years of Crosswords a brief history;
    1913: The World's First Crossword Puzzle Sparks a Craze; 'The granddaddy of crossword puzzles';
    1924: The New York Times Refuses to Join in the Fun; 'The utterly futile finding of words';
    1941: Bombing of Pearl Harbor Leads to Changed Minds; 'We ought to proceed with the puzzle';
    1942: Margaret Farrar and the First New York Times Crossword; 'Profession and passion';
    1950: The Daily Crossword Begins;
    1969: Will Weng Becomes Second Crossword Editor; 'Good company on lazy Sunday mornings';
    1977: Eugene T. Maleska, the Third Crossword Editor; 'Exactitude with puckishness';
    1978: First American Crossword Puzzle Tournament;
    1993: Will Shortz Becomes Fourth Editor of the Crossword; 'A tradition of culture and quality';
    1996: First New York Times Crossword on the Web; 'Less blood, fewer erasures';
    1998: First (and Only) Marriage Proposal in the Crossword -- Although we still get requests;
    2006: Crossword Documentary 'Wordplay' Opens; 'Crowd-pleasing entertainment and suspense';
    2008: The Wordplay Crossword Blog Begins; 'The Simpsons' Meet the Puzzle Master;
    2016: The Puzzle Mania Section Is Published; the largest New York Times Crossword: 50x50; 2/14/2017
  • farrarMargaret Farrar: 1st NYT crossword editor, 1942-1968; "1st Lady of Crosswords" bio
  • Few Gnus Farrar interview; 6/13/1959
  • "Under Margaret Farrar's direction,...
  • woody comic"Egotism, n:...
  • "Men in their forties are like the New York Times Sunday crossword puzzle:...



  • Brief Encounter (movie); Fred suggests retiring to the library by the fire to relax where he can also complete The Times' crossword puzzle. Laura responds: "You have the most peculiar ideas of relaxation."


  • What do I think of the Secretary of Commerce? HAW! crossword puzzles these days are making subtle editorial comments by having the initials of congressmen spell out words describing these individuals. For example, the initials of the Senator from Ohio spell the word "rat." (Robert A. Taft.); 8/17/1946



  • Wikipedia: 1940s
  • The Decades That Invented the Future: Part 5: 1940s Manhattan Project; George Orwell's Nineteen Eighty-Four; Polaroid Camera; Computer Bug; First Videogame; Guided Missile; House Committee on Un-American Activities; Materials Rationing; Helicopter; Microwave; Jackie Robinson; Start of Silicon Valley; 11/15/2012
  • Paleofuture: 1940s


CROSSWORDS: 1950s webadmin Sun, 07/06/2014 - 14:29



  • nyt mondayNYT begins publishing daily crosswords (9/11/1950) [.puz], [.pdf]
  • "The capitulation of the N.Y. Times to the daily crossword puzzle is...


  • Crossword Quiz (Canadian TV game show)
  • Scrabble History; In the early 1950s, as legend has it,...


  • The 1950s crossword; NYT Learning Network
  • Wikipedia: 1950s
  • The Decades That Invented the Future: Part 6: 1950s Transistorized Computer; Sci-Fi Cinema, Rock&Roll; Spy Satellites; Hockey Mask; Hovercraft; Digital Photograph; Tennis for Two (videogame); DNA; Black Box; Fidel Castro; Catalyzed Plastics; ICEE Machine; 11/22/2012
  • Paleofuture: 1950s


CROSSWORDS: 1960s webadmin Sun, 07/06/2014 - 14:31


  • 1969: ARPAnet (precursor to Internet); Apollo moon landing




  • Lyricist Stephen Sondheim begins creating cryptic crosswords for New York Magazine, helping introduce Americans to British-style crosswords.



  • The 1960s crossword; NYT Learning Network
  • Wikipedia: 1960s
  • The Decades That Invented the Future: Part 7: 1960s 2001: A Space Odyssey; venture capital (Rock and Davis); Compact Disc; Douglas Engelbart's "Mother of All Demos"; Muhammad Ali; Nuclear Powered Carrier; Sketchpad (drawing program); Psychedelic Research; Spacewar (videogame); Concorde; Kennedy Assassination; Saigon Execution Photo; 12/06/2012
  • Paleofuture: 1960s


CROSSWORDS: 1970s webadmin Fri, 03/09/2012 - 08:36


  • sheet music1971: Crossword Puzzle (song)
  • 1976: Starting Here, Starting Now (musical): Crossword Puzzle (song)
  • 1978: American Crossword Puzzle Tournament (ACPT)


  • rendell one across two downOne Across, Two Down (novel) by Ruth Rendell;
    "There are only two things that interest Stanley: the crosswords and getting his hands on his mother-in-law's money"
  • Where Have All Our Heroes Gones (song) by Bill Anderson, album Where Have All Our Heroes Gone;
    lyrics: "And sometimes when it rained you'd sit beside me / And we'd race raindrops down the window pane
    You'd bring me coffee and we'd work crossword puzzles together / We don't do anything together now"
  • Crossword (song) (video; 2:18) by Jeff Cooper and the Stoned Wings, album Purple Haze / Tribute to Jimi Hendrix


  • danaCrossword Puzzle (song) by Dana (BBC Top of the Pops) from album All Kinds of Everything; MayasMix @ 18:35;
    lyrics: "Isn't life a little bit like a crossword puzzle? Giving you lots of trouble / I'm scratching my head to find the clues
    In the black and white that make up yesterday's news / And my crossword puzzle is keeping me in a muddle"




  • sheet musicCrossword Puzzle (song) (video; 4:51) from musical Starting Here, Starting Now; MayasMix @ 43:25; lyrics: "I am sitting here doing the Sunday Times Crossword Puzzle. Somehow the words won't come. I am staring at squares but my eyes never focus, and my mind's feeling strangely numb. It's a fact that a word..."; synopsis: "A woman holding a NY Times's reveals that ever since her Hecky left her, she has been unable to focus on the crossword puzzle. As she tries to answer some clues, she is continually distracted by thoughts of him. Slowly, it is understood that the reason Hecky left her was because, being the intelligent woman that she is, when they did the crossword together, she always got all of the answers before him. This led to much frustration and arguing and eventually Hecky couldn't handle it anymore. As she stumbles through each clue, she becomes more upset and less in control of her emotions."




  • sudoku take turnsHoward Garns creates the modern Sudoku puzzle for Dell Magazines under the name "Number Place" -- the first pen-and-paper puzzle to rival the crossword in popularity, though this spike in popularity would occur decades later under the name Sudoku.
  • Crossword (song) by Jethro Tull, album Stormwatch (iTunes; 3:38); MayasMix @ 00:00;
    lyrics: "Life is a clue in your crossword...Your life is a clue in the crossword."


  • Wikipedia: 1970s
  • The Decades That Invented the Future: Part 8: 1970s Apple II; Weapons-Grade Lasers; Pentagon Papers; Title IX; Computer Printers; Altair; Atari; Modern Sci-Fi ETs; Anti-Lock Braking System; Color Fine-Art Photography; Fractals; Nixon's nuclear "Project Independence"; 12/13/2012
  • Paleofuture: 1970s


CROSSWORDS: 1980s webadmin Fri, 03/09/2012 - 08:38


  • A is for Alibi1982: A is for Alibi (book)
  • 1984: Crossword Puzzle (song)



  • Cardiac Arrest (song) (video; 2:54) (wikipedia) by Madness, album 7; lyrics:
    "Ten more minutes till he gets there / The crossword's nearly done. / It's been so hard these days / Not nearly so much fun.
    Think of seven letters / Begin and end in 'C' / Like a big American car / But misspelt with a 'D'."




  • mandrell crossword puzzleCrossword Puzzle (song) (video; 3:38) by Barbara Mandrell, album Clean Cut; MayasMix @ 32:33;
    lyrics & .mp3: "What we've become is 1 Across, and also rhymes with rules / Two Down is what we tell that's opposite the truth / Three Across is what we do to each other's feelings / Four Across begins with 'A', and means disagreeing."



  • Tin Men movie; His unutterably unhappy wife (Nora) does crosswords, waiting until 3 AM for Tilley to come home, obtuse and uncomprehending of her need for escape and fulfillment.


  • Wikipedia: 1980s
  • The Decades That Invented the Future Part 9: 1980s Space Shuttle Columbia; IBM PC; Macintosh; MTV; Miracle on Ice; Leveraged Buyout; Nintendo NES; Sandra Day O'Conner; Stealth; Additive Manufacturing (early 3D printing); In-Car Stereos; Autofocus; 12/21/2012
  • Paleofuture: 1980s


CROSSWORDS: 1990s webadmin Fri, 03/09/2012 - 08:40


  • shortz1990: World Wide Web (proposed)
  • 1993: Will Shortz, 4th NYT crossword editor
  • 1996: Election ('quantum') Crossword; Across Lite format


  • landscape painted with teaWorld Wide Web proposed
  • Crossword Concerto (song) by Robert Wells, album Rhapsody in Rock II
  • Landscape Painted With Tea (book) by Milorad Pavic; "A failed architect's search for his father, an officer who vanished in Greece during World War II, becomes a labyrinthine puzzle, inextricably bound to the history of the ancient monastery on Mount Athos". It's organized as a crossword puzzle: "Readers may approach the book chronologically by reading only the 'Across' sections, or less chronologically and with more digressions by reading the 'Down' sections. Either strategy gradually reveals the story of a soul-searching architect who roams a labyrinth of meditation and memory." "In ergodic literature, nontrivial effort is required to allow the reader to traverse the text"
  • More Than Words (song) (video; 4:17) (wikipedia) by Extreme, album Pornograffitti;
    lyrics: "How easy it would be to show me how you feel; More than words is all you have to do to make it real"


  • 50 year anniversaryNothing Turned Out Right (song) by Demon, album Hold On To The Dream; lyrics: "So I walked in the sunshine / And suddenly it started to rain / So I reached for the crossword / But couldn't find where I'd left my brain / It's just one of those days / When nothing turns out right"





  • oliver's travelsCrossword Blues (song) (video; 6:07; lyrics: 4:10-) by Rob Tognoni, album Stones and Colours; MayasMix @ 89:50; lyrics: "lately I've been learnin' to do the crossword everyday / it's just one of those things I'm gonna need to while my lonely hours away"
  • Oliver's Travels TV; PBS; "When Oliver (Alan Bates) ... is laid off by his university, he resolves to visit Aristotle, a famous compiler of crossword puzzles. When Oliver discovers that Aristotle's home has been ransacked and Aristotle is nowhere to be found, ..."; Guardian article


  • animated election puzzleElection Day Puzzle: The clue to the middle answer across the grid was "Lead story in tomorrow's newspaper." The answer appeared to be CLINTON ELECTED. Because of intentional ambiguity in the crossing clues, however, the answer could also have been BOB DOLE ELECTED. Either answer fitted. For example, the crossing clue Black Halloween animal could have been either BAT or CAT, with the C for CLINTON or the B the start of BOB DOLE. "It was the most amazing crossword I've ever seen. As soon as it appeared, my telephone started ringing. Most people said 'How dare you presume that Clinton will win!' And the people who filled in BOB DOLE thought we'd made a whopper of a mistake!" ~Will Shortz; this is known as a quantum (or Schrödinger) crossword for simultaneously having 2 states
  • NYT adopts Across Lite application & .puz format




  • puzzle ladyA Clue for the Puzzle Lady (mystery, 1st in Puzzle Lady series) by Parnell Hall; synopsis: "Amateur sleuth Miss Cora Felton, an eccentric, nationally-syndicated crossword puzzle columnist whose craving for trouble has increased with age. When the body of an unknown teenager carrying a cryptic, crossword-like message is found in the local cemetery". Other books: Last Puzzle and Testament, Puzzled To Death, ...
  • The Pre-Shortzian Puzzle Project: Bring Old New York Times Crosswords into the Digital Age Litz-ing NYT puzzles: 1942-1994; solve those puzzles
  • Kill the Man (movie);
    "Guy: What are you doing in my parking lot?
    Bob Stein: Murder.
    Stanley Simon: Yeah, handsome guy too.
    Guy: The corpse just moved!
    Stanley Simon: They tend to do that sometimes. I once saw a man finish a crossword puzzle after being shot five times.
    Bob Stein: Sunday edition too."
  • murderThe Crossword Murder (mystery) by Nero Blanc from Crossword Mysteries (series)
  • Nobody Knows Anybody (Nadie Conoce a Nadie) (movie); "Simon (Eduardo Noriega), a crossword-puzzle writer, receives a cryptic message threatening him with death if certain words don't appear in his puzzles."
  • Your Dictionary (song) (video; 3:30) by XTC, album Apple Venus Volume 1;
    lyrics: "H-A-T-E -- is that how you spell love in your dictionary...There are no words for me inside your dictionary"
  • The Story of Us (movie); Ms. Pfeiffer's character designs crossword puzzles. Mr. Willis goes from skepticism that anyone can make a living at such an activity to examining, later in his marriage, his wife's puzzles for insights into their relationship and its decidedly murky prospects; he starts to see her crosswords as secret messages. Wikipedia; NYT


  • Wikipedia: 1990s
  • The Decades That Invented the Future: Part 10: 1990s Sony Playstation; GPS-Guided Munitions; Linux; MP3 Player; RQ-1 Predator Drone; Oklahoma City Bombing; Photoshop; The Internet (web); Dark Energy; Women's Soccer; Web Design; venture capitalist (John Doerr); 1/25/2013
  • Paleofuture: 1990s


CROSSWORDS: 2000s webadmin Fri, 03/09/2012 - 08:42


  • lisa2002: CrozzWord (Steve's Zaurus app)
  • 2006: Wordplay (movie)
  • 2008: Homer and Lisa Exchange Cross Words (Simpson's episode)


  • 50th birthdayMonday: Now ... and Then NYT (daily) Crossword 50th Anniv. [.puz, .pdf]
  • CSI: Crime Scene Investigation; 1.4 (TV series);
    Catherine: "You're right, you know. I should be just like you. Alone in my hermetically-sealed condo watching Discovery on the big screen, working genius-level crossword puzzles, but no relationships. No chance any will slop over into a case."
    Grissom: "Technically, it's a townhouse. And the crosswords are advanced, not genius. But you're right. I'm deficient in a lot of ways. But I never screw up one of my cases with personal stuff."


  • zaurusSteve's CrozzWord application debuts on Zaurus
  • Marathon (movie); "Each year, single New Yorker Gretchen (Sara Paul) tries to complete as many crossword puzzles as possible during a 24-hour marathon session while riding the subway. By performing this strange ritual (a legacy from her mother), Gretchen seems to be railing against the meaningless cacophany of city life. Though seemingly senseless, Gretchen's annual gesture speaks volumes about imposing personal order on the random dice throw that is daily life."
  • A Star-Guarded Coronation (song) (video; 5:17) by Vintersorg, album Visions from the Spiral Generator; lyrics: "A star-guarded coronation / Over the crossword's profound and royal thrones"
  • Happy at Last (song) (video; 2:49) by Josh Joplin, album The Future That Was; MayasMix @ 47:43
    lyrics: "I'm not as smart as a Sunday Times crossword puzzle / Big words get me into trouble"
  • Hiccups (song) (video; 4:03) by Darren Hanlon, album Hiccups;
    lyrics: "Some day without trying you'll find something that's rare / Like an eight letter word on a triple word square
    A thousand ideas I try to tell crossword girl / How do I get one across when you're always too down?
    And if things get hard will you throw in the pen? / But if you are unsure you can pencil it in"



  • Crossword Puzzle Blues (song) by Steve Mardon, album Critic's Darling; lyrics: "All you offer me is cryptic clues...You came here on a Sunday, dressed in black and white / I'm just another fool / Livin' with the crossword puzzle blues (break out the White Out) / Livin' with the crossword puzzle blues (where's my thesaurus)"
  • Word Wars (movie) "In this character-driven documentary, filmmakers Eric Chaikin and Julian Petrillo follow four 'word nerds' through their fastidious preparations and smaller tournaments that lead to the national championship Scrabble tournament in San Diego in 2002. Our favorite contender: Joel Sherman, a true dork with acid reflux trouble (he constantly quaffs Maalox) and no other discernable job besides playing Scrabble."
  • Sideways movie; early on, the hero, Miles (Paul Giamatti), does the Times crossword puzzle while driving his Saab on the San Diego Freeway
  • These Foolish Things by Deborah Moggach; book; renamed "The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel" in in 2012; Norman delights in filling in the crosswords in ink so no one can erase his answers and start afresh.


  • Wordplay (song) (video; 3:08) (wikipedia) by Jason Mraz, album Mr. A-Z;
    lyrics: "I am the wizard of ooh's and ah's and fa-la-la's / Yeah the Mister A to Z / They say I'm all about the wordplay"
  • Everyday (song) (video; 6:44) by Authority Zero, album Rhythm and Booze;
    lyrics: "These masses of confrontation beating me down / I'm picking at the pieces to put them all back into place
    A never ending crossword of questions collaborates / While asking myself, where are we going in time?"
  • Crossword (song) by Helen Slater, album Crossword; MayasMix @ 05:35
  • The Perfect Man movie; review: "What constitutes the perfect man according to this ill-conceived hokum is not someone with a burning inner soul, deep compassion or romance oozing from every pore. No, the clue that poor Jean's lifelong search for the ideal companion is finally over is based on the fact that the man in question fills in crosswords with pen."


  • wordplayWordPlay (movie): "WordPlay follows New York Times puzzle editor Will Shortz, his fans and contributors, and champion solvers at the American Crossword Puzzle Tournament, exposing the madness and mirth behind this not-so-puzzling national obsession."
  • Every Word (song) (video; 2:41) by Gary Louris (from WordPlay); MayasMix @ 94:08; lyrics: "You know every word is made up of letters / Made up of letters / Made up of letters"
  • Bananagrams (game)
  • Simple Man (song) by John Corbett, album: John Corbett; lyrics: "Crossword's on the table, coffee in the cup / She finds another word for waiting as he pulls into the drive ? / And she's working on that crossword, fightin' back a smile / Find another word for sober, let him sit out there a while"
  • Mozartian Crossword (classical) (video; 8:08) by Jill Teml; MayasMix @ 11:50
  • Crossword (song) (video; 3:41) by Bleak, album Burns Inside;
    lyrics: "I couldn't solve her / God and our hearts cried / Together, as I let my air out / Like a crossword / Like a crossword / You are to me"



  • simpsons annotatedThe Simpsons: "Homer and Lisa Exchange Cross Words" (TV episode):
    "Lisa discovers that she has a talent for solving crossword puzzles, and she enters a crossword tournament. Lisa's feelings are hurt when she discovers that Homer bet against her in the championship match... Crossword puzzle creators Merl Reagle and Will Shortz guest star as themselves...One of the few successful moments Gil Gunderson has enjoyed is when he won a crossword contest, but only because he fooled Lisa by making her take his glasses, which he didn't actually need."
  • Lollapuzzoola a crossword-solving tournament with a more tongue-in-cheek, freeform style, launches in Jackson Heights, New York
  • Cross Words (movie): "On his 50th birthday, George, an arrogant, agoraphobic, crossword puzzle maker is mistaken for dead... and he must crash his own funeral to learn how to live."
  • Burn Notice (TV series); "In the world of intelligence, if an operative hands you a crossword puzzle, chances are, you just received a coded message." ~Michael Westen
  • Mon-Sun NYT Crosswords (songs; .mp3) by John Schnall; MayasMix @ 79:49



  • Wikipedia: 2000s
  • The Decades That Invented the Future: Part 11: 2000s iPhone; Human Genome; Instagram; Rise of the Drones; Hadoop (search server software); Connected Cars; Sep. 11th; Nintendo Wii; Apple (design); Doping (sports); Facebook; Social Media; 2/1/2013


CROSSWORDS: 2010s webadmin Fri, 03/09/2012 - 08:44


  • 100th anniv2011: CROSSWORDS and YOU (this course)
  • 2013: 100th anniversary of Arthur Wynne's "word-cross", with many commemorative puzzles


  • rubiconiPad and mobile crossword apps
  • Rubicon (TV show): Episode 1: Will Travers, an intelligence analyst at the American Policy Institute (API), spots related crossword puzzle [Java] answers in multiple newspapers involving the government, suicides, conspiracies, ...
  • A Way With Words (song) (video; 5:49) by Amanda Yesnowitz and Brian Cimmet at ACPT 2010:
    article & lyrics: "I love words. I love words. I love glorious, uproarious, notorious words
    Wouldn't that be natural for someone like me -- A dame whose name goes literally from A to Z."
  • Monday's Crossword (song) by Drew Citron, album Drew Citron; MayasMix @ 68:50
  • Crossword (jazz) by Crossover Jazz Trio & Tino Tracanna, album 3 Words; MayasMix @ 03:20
  • Crossword (movie): "On a significant day in her life, a lonely woman who finds solace in the daily crossword finds that the answers to the clues are all around her. Is it magic, coincidence or something else entirely?"









  • Wikipedia: 2010s
  • The Decades That Invented the Future: Part 12: The Present and Beyond Discovery of Earth's Twin planet; Autonomous Cars; Wearable Technology; Growing the Visual Funnel (optics); Wide-Area Surveillance; AR (augmented reality), 3D printing; device convergence; Internet Memes; Kim Dotcom; Prosthetic Athletics; "Pluto Switch" (specialized hardware); Healthcare; 2/8/2013


CROSSWORDS: Future webadmin Sun, 07/06/2014 - 19:17


  • future present past xwordNew puzzle styles?
  • Digital vs. paper?
  • [Refs]: "Down but Not Out: The Uncertain Future of the Crossword Puzzle"
  • [Refs]: "Crosswords at a Crossroad: The Puzzle Turns 100. What Is the Clue to Its Survival?"



CROSSWORDS: History: General References

CROSSWORDS: History: General References webadmin Fri, 03/09/2012 - 08:46