4 Across, 3 Down?
July 24, 2013
The first crossword puzzle was compiled by journalist Arthur Wynne and published December 12, 1913 in the newspaper New York World. The first puzzle was diamond shaped and provided one clue for every two numbers, but it did not include the blackout squares we see today.
In 1944, typesetter Leonard Dawe was suspected of espionage after many of his puzzles included code words from the planned military invasion, Operation Overlord. The U.S. military investigators later found Dawe innocent, and in 1986, a student of Dawe's confessed he had picked up words to use for the puzzles around a military camp.
Today's crossword puzzles are more complex, and if you find yourself getting frustrated over that missing word, we can help! Try Merriam Webster and Visual Thesaurus in our Research Databases for help finding that right word.