Dear Commons Community,
For those of us who enjoy doing the New York Times crossword puzzle, yesterday was its 75th anniversary. To celebrate, a website has been established by the Times showing a brief history of crossword puzzles. Here is a blurb on how the puzzle got started at the Times:
After the bombing of Pearl Harbor, a New York Times editor made a decision: “We ought to proceed with the puzzle.” The puzzle in question was a crossword. Despite decades of popularity — and the endorsement of Arthur Hays Sulzberger, then the publisher of The Times — crosswords had yet to appear in the newspaper. (A Times editorial had called the puzzles a “sinful waste” of time.)
Responding to an audience in need of relaxation, the paper moved in a new direction.
Seventy-five years later, people continue to turn to The Times’s puzzles for comfort and distraction.