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Free Puzzles through Chronicling America: Maze Edition

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This is a repost of a blog post written by Malea Walker, a reference librarian in the Library’s Serial and Government Publications Division. It was originally published on the “Headlines and Heroes: Newspapers, Comics, & More Fine Print” blog on July 7, 2020.

“The Maze of Short Cuts.” The San Francisco Call (San Francisco, CA), July 20, 1913.

Staying at home for four months has driven me (and most of you, I’m sure) more than a little stir-crazy. I’ve binge-watched shows, read books, walked all around my neighborhood, and I’ve even done several jigsaw puzzles. The jigsaw puzzle craze has swept up many of us. Maybe you’ve also been doing the crosswords and sudokus in your local newspaper. But did you consider, we have millions of newspaper pages available online for free—and that means hundreds of free puzzles!

When I came to this realization myself, I began feverishly doing searches for all types of puzzles. To be sure, the puzzles from a hundred years ago don’t look quite the same as today’s, but they are entertaining nevertheless.

So to help you (and me) stay entertained at home as we continue “social distancing” through this summer, I will be presenting you with a series of puzzles from our historic newspapers in Chronicling America.* To start out, here are some of my favorite puzzles—mazes. Feel free to print this blog out and get started! Or just trace your way through on your screen.

“Who Ate the Nut?” Evening Journal (Wilmington, DE), October 29, 1920.
“Can You Find Your Way to Fun?” The San Francisco Call (San Francisco, CA), July 13, 1913.
“There’s a Catch to This Test.” The Chronicle (Pascagoula, MS), October 3, 1963.
“There’s a Catch to This Test,” detail of instructions.


“A Maze Game.” Evening Star (Washington, DC), May 9, 1937.

Perhaps as you’ve navigated the twists and turns of 2020, you’ve discovered some favorite puzzles. Let us know in the comments!

* The Chronicling America historic newspapers online collection is a product of the National Digital Newspaper Program and jointly sponsored by the Library and the National Endowment for the Humanities.


Looking for more puzzles from the Library’s newspaper collections to try at home? Check out this recent post, also by Malea Walker of the Library’s Serials and Government Publications Division: “Free Puzzles: Can You Read This Rebus?”

You might also want to search in the Chronicling America database. Try searching using keywords: puzzle, crossword, word-cross, riddle, hidden picture, connect the dots, color by number


  1. Thanks.

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