What a momentous year 2008 was. It was highlighted by the election of the first African American president of the United States, Barack Obama, and lowlighted by an economy that took more hits than the Eagles' Brian Westbrook. And, of course, there was plenty of good and bad in between.

As a holiday gift to our readers, The Inquirer offers this exclusive year-in-review crossword by puzzle potentate Merl Reagle, with an assist by The Inquirer's staff. The clues cover news and people from the Philadelphia region and beyond, blended with Reagle's unique wit and skill.

So gather the family around, reflect on the year that was, and enjoy. 

Find the puzzle online at http://go.philly.com/puzzle08.