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Guest Post: The New York Times’ First Crossword Puzzle

By: Mark B. - February 16, 2010

The New York Times published its first crossword puzzle on February 15, 1942 — that’s 68 years ago yesterday. The clues are difficult, since they speak to a completely different era.

But one clue didn’t take long to figure out. See 140 across …



12 Comments »

  1. Looks like his seven-year-old grandson wrote in the answers.

    Comment by Mark B. — February 16, 2010 @ 2:48 pm

  2. My first reaction was to say “Cool!” And this is a cool post.

    But, “Member of Mormon band, ‘Destroying Angels’”? Goodness gracious. Hopefully 68 years later that clue leaves most NYT readers scratching their collective heads in puzzled confusion.

    Comment by Researcher — February 16, 2010 @ 3:42 pm

  3. Said seven-year-old grandson is confident enough to do the New York Times crossword puzzle in ink. ‘Nuff said. This is a treasure of unexpected Mormon historical lore and I was unbelievably tickled when Mark sent it in.

    I’d like to agree with you, Researcher, but I think that as long as there are Sally Dentons and Jon Krakauers with national audiences, there’s a good possibility that “ignorantly informed” puzzle solvers would catch on immediately.

    Comment by Ardis E. Parshall — February 16, 2010 @ 3:50 pm

  4. Weird, I can’t seem to get “Josh Cook” to fit.

    Comment by Matt W.'s wife — February 16, 2010 @ 7:55 pm

  5. *snicker*

    Comment by Ardis E. Parshall — February 16, 2010 @ 8:01 pm

  6. I tried to fit correlation committee

    Comment by james glint — February 16, 2010 @ 8:40 pm

  7. That’s an interesting choice, james, given the IP from which you posted. (I won’t tell! I promise.)

    Comment by Ardis E. Parshall — February 16, 2010 @ 8:45 pm

  8. But after that observation, perhaps we can make some good guesses…! ;-)

    Comment by Alison — February 16, 2010 @ 9:09 pm

  9. Re. my last comment – obviously not on here, though!

    Comment by Alison — February 16, 2010 @ 9:09 pm

  10. Right — best not to speculate on blog. (james, if I’ve gone too far in teasing you, say the word and I’ll delete it.)

    Comment by Ardis E. Parshall — February 16, 2010 @ 9:44 pm

  11. Great find. Count me among those who use ink on crosswords.

    Comment by Justin — February 17, 2010 @ 7:22 am

  12. There is no other way.

    Comment by Mark B. — February 17, 2010 @ 7:26 am

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