In stressful times, solving a crossword is not just a diversion but a necessary solace. In fact, the crossword puzzle was born in December 1913, on the eve of World War I. Arthur Wynne, an editor at the New York World, needed a new game for that paper’s FUN section. So he printed a blank word-search grid, devised clues so readers could figure out the letters, and called it “FUN’s Word-Cross Puzzle.” A typographical error a few weeks later transposed the puzzle’s title to “Cross-Word,” and the puzzle was permanently re-christened. New solvers became rabid cruciverbalists—that is, crossword fans––practically overnight, latching onto the grid as a refuge from chaos.
Same could be said for the current times as well, where most individuals are finding solace in solving crossword puzzles while locked inside their homes due to the global pandemic – Covid19. The popularity of crossword puzzles has reached an unmatchable high during the last 18 months and the legendary New York Times crossword puzzle which is one of the most popular crossword puzzles across the world has benefited largely during this period with the number of players increasing on a daily basis. Internet searches to reveal New York Times crossword answers have also witnessed a steep increase recently.
There are some individuals who have been lifelong crossword puzzle lovers while some who have recently developed this hobby while staying locked inside their homes.
Sam, a 25 year old techie who works as a web developer for various startups globally is one of the young individuals who joined the crossword puzzle mania recently. “My father and mother were crossword buffs and as a kid I never understood why they were so crazy about it. Some months back I read an article online on how to have fun while being productive inside your home and that is where crossword puzzles were mentioned. At first, I thought it’s crazy but after solving my first puzzle, I realized how beautiful it is.” said Sam, who is now addicted to solving crossword puzzles.
The trend isn’t being seen only among young adults but kids as young as 14 and 15 have also started solving crossword puzzles during the pandemic. A generation which wasn’t even aware of the crossword puzzles because they have hardly read newspapers as they were born in the internet age and all news consumption happened via TV or on the internet.
Most people predicted that the craze for crossword puzzles would die out in the internet age but the recent trends seem otherwise, how bright is the future of crossword puzzles only time would tell.