The internet is divided over whether NYT crossword looks like swastika

Donald Trump Jr rants on Washington Post laid-off journalists

A New York Times crossword puzzle has caused a stir on social media for appearing to create a swastika in its pattern.

On Sunday, several people noticed the newspaper's crossword puzzle had diagonal shapes in several corners making it appear like the Nazi symbol, on the first night of Hanukkah.

Twitter users, including Donald Trump Jr, accused the publication of projecting antisemitism through the crossword puzzle.

"Disgusting! Only the New York Times would get Chanukah going with this is the crossword puzzle," Trump Jr wrote.

Sign up for our free Indy100 weekly newsletter

The Times released a statement to The Daily Mail saying, "This is a common crossword design: Many open grids in crosswords have a similar spiral pattern because of the rules around rotational symmetry and black squares."


But Trump Jr was not the only one to recognize the pattern.

A similar incident occurred in 2017 when people pointed out a crossword that appeared to make the pattern of a swastika.

At the time, New York Times Games responded to the accusations 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?"

Although likely unintentional, the crossword still caused a stir on social media.



While people believed New York Times staff did not intentionally create the pattern, they called on the staff to conduct a more thorough job looking at the shapes the crossword pattern creates.


The first day of Hanukkah began on Sunday 18 December at sundown.

Have your say in our news democracy. Click the upvote icon at the top of the page to help raise this article through the indy100 rankings.

Please log in or register to upvote this article
The Conversation (0)