Daily Almanac for Tuesday, December 21, 2021; Day 355 of the Year

On this date in 1913, the first crossword puzzle was printed in a NY newspaper. Crossword puzzle american-style grid layout. 2009 photo. CC BY-SA 3.0, https commons.wikimedia.org


crossword is a word puzzle that usually takes the form of a square or a rectangulargrid of white- and black-shaded squares. The game’s goal is to fill the white squares with letters, forming words or phrases, by solving clues, which lead to the answers. In languages that are written left-to-right, the answer words and phrases are placed in the grid from left to right (“across”) and from top to bottom (“down”). The shaded squares are used to separate the words or phrases.


Winter Solstice

The winter solstice is one of the two times each year that the Sun is at its farthest point from the equator and appears to stand still. The word solstice is derived from the Latin sol, or “Sun,” and stitium, or “stoppage.”

The Halcyon Days also occur around this time. According to ancient legend, a grieving wife named Halcyon threw herself into the sea upon discovering the drowned body of her beloved husband, Ceyx. The gods took pity on the pair, transforming them into kingfishers, or halcyons, with the power to still the stormy seas for 14 days near the time of the winter solstice while they hatched their young.”

Learn more about the winter solstice and the first day of winter!

Question of the Day

Is there anything I can do to stop the stairs in my house from squeaking?There is. Find the offending step (or steps) and sprinkle some talcum powder into the noisy joint between the tread and the riser. For a more permanent solution, if you can get at the back of your stairs, you can repair them by driving nails from underneath through the riser and into the tread at an angle; this will make them hold better.

Advice of the Day

To defeat sleepless nights, try as hard as possible to stay awake; you’ll soon be asleep.

Home Hint of the Day

If you’re nailing into knotty or tough wood, first make a pilot hole. Drill a hole slightly smaller in diameter than the nail before inserting and hammering it in.

Word of the Day

HomichlophobiaThe fear of fog or clouds

Puzzle of the Day

When a person falls out a window, what does he always fall against?Against his will


  • Giovanni Boccaccio (poet) – 1375
  • Marc Connelly (playwright) – 1980


  • Jane Fonda (actress) – 1937
  • Samuel L. Jackson (actor) – 1948
  • Ray Romano (comedian & actor) – 1957
  • Kiefer Sutherland (actor) – 1966


  • On December 16, 1620, the British ship Mayflower arrives at modern-day Plymouth, Massachusetts, and the Pilgrims begin building their settlement, Plymouth Colony.– 1620
  • Mackenzie Bowell became Canada’s 5th Prime Minister– 1894
  • The first crossword puzzle was printed in a NY newspaper– 1913
  • Pianist Vladimir Horowitz wed Wanda Toscanini– 1933
  • Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs premiered at the Carthay Circle Theater in Hollywood, California. It was the first animated feature-length film with sound and color– 1937


  • A four-day snowstorm began in Portland, Oregon– 1892
  • A storm in Texas, Arkansas, and Louisiana brought 26 inches of snow to Hillsboro, Texas– 1929

COURTESY www.almanac.com

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