As the Mirror launches its £500 cash-prize quiz challenge, here’s everything you ever wanted to know and more about puzzles
IT’S time to test your grey matter with our new Day-2-Day challenge.
The Mirror’s quiz, launched today and offering a £500 prize, will pose you one or two questions to answer every day.
At the end of each week, take the first letter from each answer from that week and, using the clue, rearrange them to find the prize word and enter our draw.
Good luck – and what better to inspire you than a look at humanity’s enduring fascination with puzzles…
■ The first puzzles emerged in 2,300BC, when labyrinth drawings became popular in Ancient Greece and Egypt. The images also held religious and spiritual meaning. ■ The word “quiz” is thought to have been coined by Irish theatre owner Richard Daly, who in 1791 bet that within 48 hours he could make a nonsense word spoken throughout Dublin. He then got his employees to write the “QUIZ” on doors, windows and walls, and it became the talk of the town. ■ Palindromes – a phrase that reads the same backwards as forwards – were first used by the Greeks in the first century AD. ■ The first published crossword puzzle appeared in the Sunday New York World on December 21, 1913, and was devised by Liverpudlian Arthur Wynne. The puzzle was an immediate success and became a weekly feature, although it remained the only paper to run them until 1924.
■ Although Scrabble was invented in 1938, the first wordsearch puzzle did not appear until 1968, created by Norman Gibat and published in Oklahoma’s Selenby Digest. ■ In 2011, people playing Foldit, an online puzzle game about protein folding, resolved the structure of an enzyme causing an Aids-like disease in monkeys. Researchers had been working on the problem for 13 years but the gamers solved it in three weeks.
■ A puzzle book called Masquerade sparked a UK craze in 1979, as it contained clues in paintings and verse that would lead to a hidden, 18-carat golden hare. More than a million copies were sold and lawns were dug up around the country. But the hunt ended in scandal after the man who eventually found it was revealed to have had contact with the author.
■ In 1944, by huge coincidence, a crossword puzzle was printed with answers all containing D-Day operation codenames, which made MI5 think their invasion plans had been discovered.
■ In 1926 waiter Antal Gyula, 25, was found in a washroom in Budapest with gunshot wounds. Police found a suicide note in the form of a crossword puzzle, which Gyula said would reveal his reasons and “the names of the people interested”. Millions have tried to solve Gyula’s puzzle but the crossword has yet to be cracked. ■ A nine-by-nine Sudoku grid has 6,670,903,752,021,072,936,960 possible combinations but only 5,472,730,538 of them really count for different solutions. ■ In Canada and Australia, anyone playing the lottery must do a maths puzzle first – to class it as a “game of skill”, not gambling.
■ The jigsaw with the most pieces had 551,232 and was put together in 2011 by students at the University of Economics in Vietnam.
■ The word-ladder puzzle was invented by Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland author Lewis Carroll on Christmas Day 1877.
■ The pub quiz was established in the 70s, mainly by company Burns and Porter, to get people in on quieter nights. CAPITAL CITYı
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ç-2- QUESTION 1 Third largest US city, where the hospital drama series ER was set. .................................................
QUESTION 2 Ship in which Captain James Cook set sail in 1768.
1938 Scrabble has become a fave