It’s easy to get caught up in the excitement of solving expert clues and the buzz surrounding these kinds of puzzles.
But crossword experts are also finding themselves in hot water for the way they treat their colleagues, with many now accusing the practice of being racist.
In an open letter to the online puzzle community, a number of experts have expressed their concern over how expert clues are presented and how it’s handled by the online community.
The online forum, for example, has previously called out some crossword puzzle experts who have been accused of “pitting black people against white people”.
“In light of the recent allegations of racism in crossword puzzles, we believe that the current community practice of putting white people against black people on expert crosswords is racist and detrimental to crosswords’ credibility and its ability to grow,” the letter read.
“We ask that you please stop putting the interests of white people above the interests and interests of black people.”
Crossword experts, who include Dr Matthew C. White and Dr Kevin C. Pritchard, have also faced accusations of racism.
In November, White wrote an open-letter to his fellow crossword expert and fellow white person, Dr Kevin Pritcliffe, in which he said that he was “not comfortable” with the way crossword-playing experts are presented.
“As a white crossword player myself, I am uncomfortable with how I am presented as an expert,” White wrote.
“I am uncomfortable that you have chosen to promote and validate white supremacy over black people.”
I am not comfortable in that it is your role to inform me of the facts of the matter.
“White has since apologised for the letter and acknowledged that he is not an expert in crosswords.”
My intention is to share my own experience of being the subject of racist comments and derogatory comments from a white person who is not a crossword enthusiast,” White said.”
But I did not mean to offend, and I sincerely apologise.