as the name of a game in which clues suggests words that are written in overlapping horizontal and vertical boxes in a grid, January 1914, from cross (adj.) + word (n.). The first one ran in the "New York World" newspaper Dec. 21, 1913, but was called word-cross. As a noun, 1925, short for crossword puzzle.
"last syllable but one of a word or verse, a penult," 1580s, from Latin pænultima (syllaba), "the next to the last syllable of a word or verse," from fem. of Latin adjective pænultimus "next-to-last," from pæne "almost" (a word of uncertain origin) + ultimus "final" (see ultimate).