CROSSWORDS: History. Milestones and Media


  • 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