Puzzle History: Codebreaking and the NSA, part 3

[Image courtesy of NSA’s official Twitter account.] At the end of part 2 in our series, we left off during the early days of the NSA, as American cryptographers continued to labor under the shadow of the Black Friday change in … Continue reading

Puzzle History: Codebreaking and the NSA, part 2

[Image courtesy of NSA’s official Twitter account.] At the end of part 1 of our look at the history of the NSA and American codebreaking, we left off with the pivotal Black Friday event. On November 1, 1948, all intel coming … Continue reading

Puzzle History: Codebreaking and the NSA

[Image courtesy of NSA.gov.] The National Security Agency has been in the news a lot over the last few years. It arguably all started with Edward Snowden and the revelations about government surveillance, both domestic and foreign, that emerged in … Continue reading

Puzzle History: The first NYT crossword

[A sculpture masquerading as a stack of newspapers.] I like to think of December as Crossword History Month. It’s rather fitting, seeing as the anniversary of the crossword is celebrated on December 21. (It’ll be 102 this year!) So it’s … Continue reading

Touching a Piece of Puzzle History

Friend of the blog Peter Kanter came by the other day and showed me this curious piece of puzzle history that his brother had stumbled upon in a garage sale or a flea market. Little did I realize I would … Continue reading

The Oldest Puzzle in History?

[Archimedes, looking disappointed for some reason. Image courtesy of Wikipedia.] Imagine the first puzzle. The very first one. What form would it take? Would it involve words? Numbers? Pictures? Would it be a riddle? A jigsaw? Would there be pieces … Continue reading