The history of the crossword puzzle dates back to 1890, where an Italian publication introduced a word puzzle game with a four-by-four grid. In 1913, the first modern day crossword puzzle was created by Arthur Wynne and published in New York World. By the early 20th century, crossword puzzles became an increasingly common part of newspapers. It was at this point that publisher Simon and Schuster realized their was a lucrative market for crossword puzzles.
On this day, April 18th, in 1924, the first crossword puzzle book was published by Simon and Schuster. The book included an attached pencil and was almost immediately embraced by consumers. Although the crossword puzzle had been introduced earlier, Simon and Schuster’s book created a much larger crossword puzzle craze throughout the United States. Many publications claimed that crossword puzzles were a waste of time and that the fad would soon die out.
Crossword puzzles are even more popular today than when they first emerged to the consumer market in 1924. There are now dozens of publications that make crossword puzzle books and nearly all major newspapers include a daily crossword puzzle for their readers.