Sunday, March 6, 2016

Crosswords, copied

From FiveThirtyEight: “A group of eagle-eyed puzzlers, using digital tools, has uncovered a pattern of copying in the professional crossword-puzzle world that has led to accusations of plagiarism and false identity.”


March 8: From FiveThirtyEight: “The longtime editor of two major crossword puzzle series is temporarily stepping away from his editorial role, the puzzles’ publishers announced Monday, three days after FiveThirtyEight published an investigation into accusations of plagiarism against him.”


April 29: From FiveThirtyEight: “Universal Uclick, a syndicator of puzzles to newspapers and other publications, says it has confirmed some of the allegations of plagiarism that have been leveled against the editor of its popular Universal Crossword puzzle.” The plagiarizing editor, Timothy Parker, will be returning to his position.

As I wrote in 2009 about a scandal in academia: “plagiarism seems to be governed by a sliding scale, with consequences lessening as the wrongdoer’s status rises.”


May 9: FiveThirtyEight reports Parker’s puzzles will no longer appear in USA Today or other Gannett Company newspapers.

comments: 2

Stefan said...

Good heavens, is nothing [six-letter word for 'holy'] ______?

Michael Leddy said...

It’s especially fiendish because without special tools, it’d be nearly impossible to discover. Who’s going to follow up a feeling of déjà vu by trying to find a puzzle published who knows when? Never mind finding all the other instances of plagiarism.