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NY Times defends published ‘swastika’ puzzle, calls it ‘common crossword design’

AP Images
AP Images

The New York Times is being slammed by thousands after publishing what appears to be a ‘swastika’-shaped crossword puzzle on the first night of Hanukkah on Sunday.

The eye-popping silhouette of the crossword puzzle stirred outrage across social media platforms, prompting spectators to slam the newspaper company.

“Disgusting! Only the New York Times would get Chanukah going with this is the crossword puzzle,” said Donald Trump Jr. on Twitter. “Imagine what they would do to someone who did this and was not ideologically aligned with them?”

The uncanny pattern titled “Some Theme’s Missing,” was crafted by principle consulting manager Ryan McCarty, which marks his 23rd puzzle for The Times.

“I love the geometry in this puzzle – so many stair steps!”, McCarty babbled in the crossword column ‘Wordplay’ section. “And feel that it contributes to a certain evenness in the solve. Most of the entries that first caught my eye were of medium length – and the whole grid came together all at once.”

After critics accused the newspaper of crafting the ‘antisemitic’ crossword, The Times defended the shape of the pattern, calling it a “common crossword design.”

“Many open grids in crosswords have a similar spiral pattern because of the rules around rotational symmetry and black squares,” a Times spoke-person told DailyMail.

While The Times called the eerie puzzle an unintentional coincidence, it’s not the first time the paper was accused of publishing ‘swastika-shaped’ crossword puzzles.

In 2017, the newspaper responded to outrage of a similar incident, writing in a Tweet: “Yes, hi. It’s NOT a swastika. Honest to God. No one sits down to make a crossword puzzle and says, “Hey! You know what would look cool?””