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The World's first crossword was devised as recently as 1913. Arthur Wynne created it for the weekly puzzle page in Fun (the eight-page comic section of the New York World).

For the Christmas edition he decided to come up with a new sort of puzzle to entertain his readers. He sketched out a diamond-shaped grid, wrote FUN (the name of the comic section) across the top squares, and filled in the rest of the grid with words. He numbered the squares and wrote definition clues for the words he had filled in.

The new puzzle proved exceedingly popular, and appeared in the newspaper every week. After a few weeks the name was changed from Word-cross to Cross-word. Wynne experimented with many different shapes, eventually settling on the rectangle. In the decades that followed, crosswords became more and more popular across the world.

Here is the world's first crossword (click here for answers):

Fill in the small squares with words which agree with the following definitions.

2-3.What bargain hunters enjoy.6-22.What we all should be.
4-5.A written acknowledgment.4-26.A day dream.
6-7.Such and nothing more.2-11.A talon.
10-11.A bird.19-28.A pigeon.
14-15.Opposed to less.F-7.Part of your head.
18-19.What this puzzle is.23-30.A river in Russia.
22-23.An animal of prey.1-32.To govern.
26-27.The close of a day.33-34.An aromatic plant.
28-29.To elude.N-8.A fist.
30-31.The plural of is.24-31.To agree with.
8-9.To cultivate.3-12.Part of a ship.
12-13.A bar of wood or iron.20-29.One.
16-17.What artists learn to do.5-27.Exchanging.
20-21.Fastened.9-25.To sink in mud.
24-25.Found on the seashore.13-21.A boy.
10-18.The fibre of the gomuti palm.  

Click here for the solution to the world's first crossword.

Read Eric Shackle's article World's First Crossword Puzzle.

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