The Crossword Turns 100, And Still Endures.

July 14, 2014

By Pat Batcheller

"If you read the newspaper, then you'll find all sorts of fanciful claims about how you'll never get Alzheimer's if you do a puzzle every day. If you look at academic papers, there's no real conclusive evidence of that."

Alan Connor, author of "The Crossword Century: 100 Years Of Witty Wordplay, Ingenious Puzzles, And Linguistic Mischief".

America’s obsession with crossword puzzles began more than a hundred years ago when the first one appeared in the “New York World”. Even with today’s high tech games and gadgets, many people still prefer to fill in paper grids with a pen or pencil. Some do it for fun, others for mental exercise. But can crossword puzzles ward off dementia, as some health experts have claimed? That’s one of the questions in a new book on the history of crossword puzzles. Alan Connor tells WDET’s Pat Batcheller that the mental benefits of doing puzzles are debatable. Click on the audio links above to hear the conversation.