This note accompanies the follow episode(s):
The Writer’s Almanac for April 18, 2017: Dark and Late

Apr. 18, 2017: published: first crossword puzzle book

On this day, in 1924, the first crossword puzzle book was published. Simon and Schuster commissioned the book to meet growing demand for these engaging puzzles, originally dubbed “word-crosses,” that first appeared in US newspapers a little over a decade earlier. Both the first and second printings of The Cross Word Puzzle Book sold out in weeks, so the publishers commissioned two more collections and rushed them to print. By the end of 1924, the books ranked No. 1, 2, and 3 on the national nonfiction best-seller list.