Crossword Puzzle Day is celebrated on December 21, on the anniversary of journalist Arthur Wynne publishing a crossword puzzle in the Sunday edition of “New York World” in 1913. Wynne was originally from Liverpool, England, where crossword puzzles were popular but more simplistic, elementary, and geared toward children. Within just a few years of Wynne introducing crosswords to the US, they were featured in nearly all American newspapers and became a fun pastime for adults. Wynne’s original puzzle can be found here.
Crosswords and other word or number puzzles may even help in keeping adult and aging brains healthy and agile. “Staying mentally active, even later in life, may decrease your risk of mild cognitive impairment or dementia,” according to a recent Mayo Clinic study.
Don’t have a newspaper? Two sources for online daily crosswords are Dictionary and Merriam Webster. If you have kids who want to join the fun, click here for a kid-friendly crossword to download and print. (Hint: one of the answers is “mosquito”!)