As pastimes go, crossword puzzles enjoy a pretty virtuous reputation. Why scroll grids on Instagram when you can tackle a real one with a freshly sharpened pencil? Like so many new forms of entertainment, however, when the crossword debuted it was regarded with suspicion. First published in 1913, the “Word-Cross Puzzle” was the invention of Arthur Wynne, a British expat editor at Joseph Pulitzer’s broadsheet New York World. His was more literal than cryptic. “What this puzzle is, ” one of Wynne’s first clues read: “HARD.” This story is from Kinfolk Issue Forty Buy Now Related Stories Arts & Culture Issue 19 Going Incognito We all secretly wonder what mischief we’d make if invisible: When our identity is hidden, everything seems possible. Arts & Culture Issue 19 The Best Policy Sometimes we talk to each other without feeling heard. Honesty—a most intimate interaction—can be just as thrilling as its more devious inverse. Arts & Culture Issue 19 A Sense of Suspense With unhinged imaginations and mountains of cliff-hangers, the filmmakers behind the sci-fi podcast Limetown have all the makings of a scary story. Arts & Culture Issue 19 Like Clockwork In this new column about time, we learn how slipping off our watches makes us feel like deadline-damning renegades. Arts & Culture Music Issue 19 On a Grander Scale Malaysian singer-songwriter Yuna now may live on the opposite side of the globe, but she’s determined to evolve while staying true to her roots. Arts & Culture Issue 19 Neighborhood: Fire Stations The firefighting profession has evolved over time from Ancient Rome’s rudimentary bucket brigades to today’s sleek life-saving departments.