Number puzzles appeared in newspapers in the late 19th century, when French puzzle setters began experimenting with removing numbers from magic squares. Le Siècle, a Paris-based daily, published a partially completed 9×9 magic square with 3×3 sub-squares on November 19, 1892. It was not a Sudoku because it contained double-digit numbers and required arithmetic rather than logic to solve, but it shared key characteristics: each row, column and sub-square added up to the same number. On July 6, 1886, Le Siècle's rival, La France, refined the puzzle so that it was almost a modern Sudoku.

The first known published crossword puzzle was created by a journalist named Arthur Wynne from Liverpool, and he is usually credited as the inventor of the popular word game. December 21, 1913 was the date and the 'word-cross' appeared in a Sunday newspaper, the New York World. Wynne's puzzle differed from today's crosswords in that it was diamond shaped and contained no internal black squares.

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