For many wordsmiths, crossword puzzles are a beloved daily ritual. Waking up, brewing a cup of coffee, and doing the crossword in the morning is considered by some to be the perfect way to start the day. Yet there was a time not so long ago when these puzzles were considered a novelty.
The modern crossword puzzle is barely over a century old, though it was inspired in part by word puzzles such as Sator squares that date back as far as ancient Pompeii. It wasn’t until 1913 that crossword puzzles as we know them today began to take shape, and their popularity only boomed from there. These brain teasers aren’t just a great way to challenge the mind — they also boast a fascinating history full of trivia that may surprise even the most avid puzzlers out there. Here are five fun facts about the history of crossword puzzles.