In the 19th century, the English developed a sort of cross word puzzle, which was somewhat popular, but nowhere near as popular as the word game proved to be in America. In December, 1913, the first crossword puzzle appeared in a supplement to the Sunday New York World. The puzzles soon started appearing regularly in newspapers, including regularly in the Sunday New York WorLd. The puzzles uses interlocking words both across and down.
In 1924, Simon and Schuster teamed up with the puzzle creators at the New York World to develop a crossword puzzle book. The book came with a pencil attached to the book with a string and was immediately a great hit.
Crossword puzzles were one of the great fads of the 1920's and increased the sales of dictionaries and Roget's Thesaurus enormously. Today, the fad is over, but crossword still appear in most American newspapers and puzzle books sell well every month.