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One hundred down

A century old, crosswords have become more cryptic—and British

By Tom Johnson   December 2013

A proposal for giant crosswords to be erected at train stations to entertain waiting passengers in 1925, as the craze swept the US © Mary Evans Picture Library

Crosswords bewitch, mislead, infuriate. They have a vocabulary all of their own; they play with language; they entertain, teach, mystify and tantalise. Once bitten by the crossword bug, a solver finds it difficult to avoid looking at life, words, context and meaning in a new and cryptic way.

A hundred years ago, on 21st December 1913, Arthur Wynne presented what is recognised…

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