Commentary

TBT – New York Times, Nov. 17, 1924

Crossword Puzzles

A FAMILIAR FORM OF MADNESS: Latest of the problems presented for solution by psychologists interested in the mental peculiarities of mobs and crowds . . . is created by what is well called the craze over crossword puzzles. Scarcely recovered from the form of temporary madness that made so many people pay enormous prices for mah jong sets, about the same persons are now committing the same sinful waste in the utterly futile finding of words the letters of which will fit into a prearranged pattern, more or less complex. This is not a game at all, and it hardly can be called a sport; it is merely a new utilization of leisure by those for whom it would otherwise be empty and tedious.

(The New York Times inaugurated a puzzle page February 15, 1942 – just 18 years later.)

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