" Death ... goes faster than the wind, and he never brings back what he takes. "
Hans Christian Andersen

Back in the day


Introduction of the Modern Crossword Puzzle

Though a type of crossword puzzle has been traced back to the ancient Egyptians, 20th-century British-American journalist Arthur Wynne is generally credited with the invention of the modern form of the crossword. Within a decade, such puzzles were being published in most leading US newspapers. The word game was further popularized when Simon & Schuster published a crossword puzzle book in 1924. The craze soon spread to England and beyond. What name did Wynne initially give his word game?



Pan Twardowski

Twardowski is a character in Polish folklore who sells his soul to the Devil in exchange for special powers, similar to the figure of Faust in German literature. Twardowski, a nobleman in 16th-century Krakow, tries to outwit the Devil by including in his contract with the Prince of Darkness the stipulation that his soul may only be claimed when he is in Rome—a place Twardowski intends never to go. Though Twardowski never does travel to Rome, the Devil collects when the man makes what misstep?

Born on a day like today


Florence Griffith Joyner, AKA FloJo

"FloJo" was a US sprinter whose incredible speed and unique fashion sense left an indelible mark on the running world. She first turned heads at the 1984 Olympics, where her silver-medal performance was nearly overshadowed by her long, painted nails and flashy racing suits. By 1988's Games, however, there was no denying her skill. She set one world record during the Olympic trials and another at the Games, where she also took three golds and a silver. Who is her similarly talented sister-in-law?

Last updated on Saturday, 21st December 2013

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