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




  • 1904: People's Home Journal blended squares
  • blended squaresnext: 1910s, 1920s, ?


  • section: History: General References
  • Wikipedia: 19th century and earlier; 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): 1870s; 1880s; 1890s; 1900s
  • 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