Nowadays, we are bombarded with information on how to maintain our health or become healthier. There is information on how to keep our body and mind in shape. Research shows that we even need to keep our brain in shape. We’re told there are brain games we can purchase online and pay a monthly fee to partake in, but one of the best brain games we have was first published on December 21, 1913 – the crossword puzzle.
Some of the first known crossword puzzles were found in children’s book in the 19th century; however, they were first published in the “New York World” newspaper on December 21, 1913 – which is one of the reasons we celebrate December 21st as Crossword Puzzle Day.
In the 1920s, the number of newspapers that carried a crossword puzzle began to increase so that within a decade, almost all American newspapers carried a section with the crossword puzzle. This portion of the paper was so valued that some people bought the newspaper simply for the crossword puzzle. And at one time, the popularity of crossword puzzles was such that most people knew at least one person who worked on a crossword puzzle.
Now, with fewer people buying the daily newspaper and with the increase in video games and other online games, we rarely see people sitting at a table working a crossword puzzle, but just because we do not see the newspaper crossword doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist. It still exists. The beloved crossword puzzle can be found online and in crossword puzzle magazines and, of course, the newspaper (both print and online with the option to print).
With other gaming options available, the question becomes why should people do a crossword puzzle. Besides being fun, crossword puzzles provide stress relief. They can also increase one’s vocabulary, and researchers have found that crossword puzzles can delay the effects of dementia and can sharpen the brain for problem solving.
Online crossword puzzles also come with a variety of options, such as topic and level of difficulty. For example, would you prefer to work a puzzle on The Wizard of Oz or John Wayne or movies? Easy or hard? Some crossword puzzle sites even have a timer so you can time yourself. And if you are stumped on a word, you can enter the clue and letter count in an online crossword puzzle helper for assistance.
With the holidays upon us, take a rest on December 21st and grab a cup of tea, a sugar cookie, and a crossword puzzle and remember the puzzle that is as relevant today as when it was first published. Just for fun try out the Red Cross crossword puzzle below created just for you!! Enjoy!
|3 Red Cross collects, distributes, supplies 40% of the nation’s supply
5 College Bowl Game at which Red Cross hosts Veteran’s Village to celebrate military personnel and their families
7 Fundamental Principle meaning the Red Cross is guided solely by the needs of individuals
9 American Red Cross North Texas Region CEO
11 Number of Red Cross Service Lines
12 92% of the Red Cross workforce
|1 Red Cross campaign helping to end home fires by installing free smoke alarms in at-risk homes
2 Meaning to provide water & snacks for victims and first responders
4 Founder of the American Red Cross
6 Supplies to assist someone with minor injuries
8 City where the International Committee of Red Cross is based
10 Several of these named disasters occurred in 2017
13 Abbreviation for Red Cross military services division