• Jace Shoemaker-Galloway

Crossword Puzzle Day: It’s time to play a brain game & stimulate your mind

If the holidays have you down-and-out and just plain stressed out, no worries. It’s time to play a game! Those unwrapped presents can wait. It’s time to get out the pencil, put on your thinking cap and de-stress a little. Dec. 21 is Crossword Puzzle Day, an annual occasion that celebrates crossword puzzles, the entertaining and often challenging word game played around the world.

Legend has it that Arthur Wynne “invented” crossword puzzles decades ago. While he created puzzles for the weekly puzzle page in the entertainment section of the New York World newspaper, he wanted to come up with something new and different – a word game. Wynne adapted the game he used to play as a child, Magic Squares, and added a clue for each word. Originally called “Word Cross” and shaped like a diamond, the very first crossword was published on Sunday, Dec. 21, 1913, and was a great big hit! The name was eventually changed to “cross-word” but due to a typo (the hyphen was omitted), the “crossword” puzzle was born. Check out the very first crossword puzzle!

In honor of Crossword Puzzle Day, why not play one or two crosswords today? And for all the Scrooge's out there - today is also Humbug Day!