NPR : News

100 Years Of Solvitude: A Reported Crossword Puzzle

Created by a British-American wordsmith, the very first Word-Cross appeared in the New York World on Dec. 21, 1913. And the crossword puzzle — as we know it — was born.

To observe the centennial anniversary, NPR serves up the original grid of FUN's Word-Cross Puzzle with new, updated clues and words. There are other parallels with that proto puzzle. For instance:

-- The word FUN is a given in both. Across and Down are not noted.

-- The first crossword repeated the word "dove." This offering repeats a word as well.

-- A couple of the clues (and their solutions) in this puzzle were in that very first one; those appear in bold.

-- Some of the words are obscure — because they are a century old and because that first puzzler was from England.

-- Many clues have links, and some tell you more about the first crossword and 1913.

So without further ado ...

100 Years Of Solvitude: A Reported Crossword Puzzle

To quote the original instructions: "Fill in the small squares with words which agree with the following definitions." (A link to this puzzle's solution is below.)

2-3. Peg O' My Heart and You Made Me Love You. Popular in 1913.

4-5. Opening line of Say It Loud: I'm Black and I'm Proud: "Uh, with your _ _."

6-7. What certain letters form.

10-11. What you might find in a car's boot.

14-15. One.

18-19. Reverse.

22-23. Centuries and centuries.

26-27. Teddy Roosevelt battled this disease in 1913.

28-29. "_ _ is an island — John Donne.

30-31. The tool of confident crossworders.

8-9. Baby powder.

12-13. True that.

16-17. A _ With a View by E.M. Forster.

20-21. Star of 1913 silent movie The Battle of Elderbush Gulch.

24-25. Crosswords became one of these in the 1920s.

10-18. 19th letter of Greek alphabet.

6-22. First crossword creator Arthur _.

4-26. What drives some crossworders.

2-11. A vetch.

19-28. Second son of Judah in Bible.

F-7. Wabbit hunter Elmer _.

23-30. Feed the pig.

1-32. Highest forms of humor, to some of us.

33-34. The end of a prayer.

N-8. Brit acronym for: Not in Education, Employment or Training.

24-31. Kukla and Ollie's friend.

3-12. Cole _.

20-29. No pain; no _.

5-27. Where Arthur Wynne died in 1945.

9-25. _ word puzzle.

13-21. The fibre of the gomuti palm and what Homer Simpson might say about this puzzle.

Click here for the solution.

The Protojournalist: A sandbox for reportorial innovation. @NPRtpj

Copyright 2013 NPR. To see more, visit


ABC Celebrates 50th Anniversary Of 'A Charlie Brown Christmas'

ABC will air "It's Your 50th Christmas Charlie Brown" Monday night. On the classic Christmas cartoon's golden anniversary, NPR explores what makes this ageless special endure.

When Tipping Was Considered Deeply Un-American

Imported from Europe, the custom of leaving gratuities began spreading in the U.S. post-Civil War. It was loathed as a master-serf custom that degraded America's democratic, anti-aristocratic ethic.

Trump Meets Privately With Black Pastors After Confusion Over Endorsement

Donald Trump met with black pastors Monday in an event that was at first billed as an endorsement. Trump has been criticized for his suggestion that a Black Lives Matter protestor who was roughed up at a Trump event deserved it.

Big Data Predicts Centuries Of Harm If Climate Warming Goes Unchecked

How can climate scientists be so sure about what will happen decades and centuries from now? About 30 teams using supercomputers to churn through mountains of data see patterns aligning.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.