Short Reads

Four-Letter Words

DID YOU KNOW (Crossword trivia)...

By Michelle Arnot, author of Four-Letter Words: And Other Secrets of a Crossword Insider

1) A puzzle a day keeps stale thinking at bay?

Jogging guru James Fixx (author of Games for the Superintelligent) believed that puzzles allow the mind to do its best work since crosswords offer new perspectives on problem solving in a controlled setting.

2) As the GNP goes down, sales of crossword puzzle magazines goes up?

The popularity of crossword puzzles enjoyed its best years during the Great Depression, after WW 2, and again during the recession of the 1980s when Games magazine appeared on the newsstand.

3) Crossword puzzle magazines are number one sellers at the newsstand?

Along with X-rated publications, puzzles are ever popular at the news agents. Crosswords never go out of date.

4) Carly Simon's dad was the first to publish a book of crosswords?

In 1923 Richard Schuster and his partner, Max Simon, decided to compile a crossword collection. It established their publishing house and continues as a series to this day.

5) According to California academic crosswords are a reliable way to sharpen your memory?

California State professor Robert Oliphant discovered that crossword puzzles are an effective tool for retaining good recall.

6) Watching Wheel of Fortune helps to hone your crossword solving skills?

The TV Show raises your awareness of which letters are more likely to appear.

7) Princess Margaret won a crossword contest?

The sister of Queen Elizabeth II sent in a correctly solved diagram and was selected as the grand winner. No word on whether Princes William or Harry share this interest.

8) Crossword puzzle solving is an effective vocabulary builder?

In the 1920s the NY Zoological Society acknowledged that many visitors were familiar with ANOA ("Celebes ox") and YAK ("Tibetan ox") thanks to crosswords.

9) The New York Times crossword puzzle is a Baby Boomer?

The daily crossword was born on September 11, 1950.

10) The crossword puzzle is a product of the 20th century?

An Englishman working at The NY World devised the game and published it on December 11, 1913.

Four-Letter Words
Four-Letter Words

Michelle Arnot



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For more brain teasers, check out these other Penguin puzzle books

For Adults:

Sudoku Iron Man #1
Sudoku Iron Man #1

Puzzler Media



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The Official Book of Kakuro: Book 1
New American Crossword Puzzle Dictionary (Revised Edition))

For Children: