If there’s one thing you hope to avoid during the Jewish holidays, it’s a swastika. But the New York Times apparently couldn’t do it.
Instead, its crossword puzzle in the Sunday, Dec. 18, edition has come under fire closely resembled the Nazi symbol, drawing ire from users on social media.
The crossword, entitled “Some Theme’s Missing,” was put together by DC-based consulting manager Ryan McCarty. He said in another section of the paper it was his first Sunday crossword. It may be his last.
That said, it does not appear that McCarty made a swastika-like shape intentionally. He was instead going for a “whirlpool” shape, he wrote.
“Thrilled to have my first Sunday puzzle in The Times! This grid features one of my favorite open middles that I’ve made as it pulls from a variety of subject areas,” McCarty wrote, adding that he “originally tried to make it work in a 15×15 grid but then decided to expand the grid out to a Sunday-size puzzle with a fun whirlpool shape.”
But some viewed it as anything but fun.
Donald Trump Jr. Vs. The New York Times
“Disgusting! Only the New York Times would get Chanukah going with this is the crossword puzzle,” Donald Trump Jr. tweeted. “Imagine what they would do to someone who did this and was not ideologically aligned with them? I’ll give them the same benefit of the doubt they would give those people … EXACTLY ZERO.”
Another user wrote that even if not planned, the design should have been caught and rearranged.
“Folks are making hay over today’s @nytimes crossword layout,” the comment read. “If the swastika is unintentional, you’d think an editor along the way would have caught it. And on the first day of Hanukkah, no less.”
SAFE CUNY, a coalition of City University of New York scholars and students dedicated to the Zionist movement. was equally perturbed.
“Pretty much sums up the @nytimes for the past few years in regard to Jews and Israel,” they wrote.
Interestingly, a poll by the Iraeli National News revealed that 85 percent of voters deemed the crossword design to be deliberate.
The Times, for its part, has not commented.