Working with Words: Inside the New York Times Crossword

‘You can’t think of your troubles while solving a crossword.’ Margaret Farrar, Founding Crossword Editor, The New York Times.

The world’s first crossword puzzle was published in 1913. By 1924, Simon & Schuster had capitalised on the craze, publishing the first crossword book.

A New York Times Opinion column at the time called the puzzles ‘a primitive sort of mental exercise’ and a ‘sinful waste’ of time, but after the bombing of Pearl Harbor, an editor made the decision to run a crossword puzzle in the paper as an antidote to blackout hours, to offer relief to its war-weary readers.

And here we are. More than 75 years later, people are still turning to The New York Times Crossword in times of crisis for comfort, stimulation and (occasionally) the competitive destruction of friends and family.

Pour yourself a drink and gather with The New York Times’s digital crossword editor Joel Fagliano to discover in real time how a crossword is made, how the team works, and you’ll get to take part in a live mini crossword-making session. Joining him in this event is Adrienne Raphel, author of Thinking Inside the Box: Adventures with Crosswords and the Puzzling People Who Can't Live Without Them. Chaired by Heather Parry.

This is a live event, with an author Q&A.

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