‘News of the World’ Staffers Publish Revenge Crossword in Last Issue

News International’s CEO Rebecca Brooks brought in some extra help to ensure the 200 disgruntled staffers at News of the World didn’t sneak any defamatory, libelous or otherwise untoward statements into the tabloid’s final issue.

The paper, which folded under the pressure of an ever increasing phone hacking scandal after over 150 years in circulation, printed its last issue Sunday. And while the senior Sun staffers reportedly brought in to proof the content for veiled insults and digs may have caught something, it’s almost definite they missed something else big: the crossword page.

The final crossword puzzles in News of the World are littered with seeming references to editor Rebecca Brooks- who kept her job while the rest of the staff was cut. The clues contain various insults as well as predictions of further trouble for News International as the phone hacking claims intensify:

Clues for the quickie crossword on page 47 of Sunday’s paper included “Brook,” “Lamented,” “Stink,” “Catastrophe,” “Digital protection,” “Less bright,” and “Criminal enterprise.” Answers included “Deplored,” “Stench,” “Racket,” “Menace,” and “Tart… Clues to the cryptic puzzle contained the phrases, “Mix in prison,” “Stellar student follows a star incorrectly,” and “Woman stares wildly at calamity,” a reference perhaps to the much-printed photo of Brooks staring intensely from the back seat of a car as she left News International headquarters…

One clue, “We’re off to get a jug,” seems to reference Editor Colin Myler’s final email to staff. Myler said:

“As I said to the staff this morning this is not where we wanted to be or deserved to be, but as a final tribute to 7.5 million readers this is for you and for the staff. Thank you. And now in the best traditions of Fleet St., we’re going to the pub.”

The final edition reportedly sold 4.5 million copies.

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