The New York Times’ iconic crossword appeared to fuel nerd rivalry on Sunday when the central theme cue asked players to name “the best of two sci-fi franchises” with the first word “STAR.” In a tricky pun, however, the puzzle and its word clues work whether you choose to insert “STAR WARS” or “STAR TREK”.
The clever crossword was spotted by Twitter user @matttomic, who posted a screenshot of the crossword’s central theme set with both “WARS” and “TREK” filled in.
Nice little trick yesterday in the Sunday New York Times crossword: The central theme clue was “The better of two sci-fi franchises”, and regardless of whether you put Star Wars or Star Trek, the crossing clues worked pic.twitter.com/NS4LDxwxxl
— att (@matttomic) February 7, 2022
The clever pun didn’t stop at the central grid. like another Twitter user pointed out that a number of other clues in the crossword relied on puzzlers who knew that the clue in 70-across referred to both Star Wars and Star Trek.
A number of matching puzzles elsewhere in the grid asked for answers from both franchises – for example, “major role” at both 38-across and 99-across requires players to know both “HAN SOLO” and “MR SPOCK”. Other themed cues called for the “good side” of the franchises and a “memorable quote.”
The nerd-themed crossword was designed by Stephen McCarthy, who in his constructor’s notes said, “I’m a fan of both ‘Star Wars’ and ‘Star Trek’, so it’s nice to be able to highlight both (to say the least). not to mention the friendly rivalry between the two fandoms) in one puzzle.” As you might expect, McCarthy said that putting both WARS and TREK in the same part of the puzzle was the hardest part of constructing the crossword, while also adding that he tried to make the grid as a whole a bit like a spiral galaxy. to make it seem.
Though known for its witty crossword puzzles, the New York Times just acquired another popular word game, Wordle, which recently took social media by storm in its free-to-play form. While the game’s creator Josh Wardle has said the game will remain free to play “initially”, Wordle is expected to eventually fall under the NYT’s subscription model.