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Glass Onion crossword cameo

Through some remarkably sharp eyes and impressive grid IDing, I learned that a crossword puzzle shown briefly on-screen on “Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery” is the June 16, 2022 New York Times puzzle constructed by me and Ross Trudeau. Some very very minor spoilers follow.

When we first re-meet Daniel Craig’s ridiculous southern detective character Benoit Blanc in this movie, he’s depressed in the bathtub, on a Zoom call with some notable puzzle/mystery celebrities. The film is set in May, 2020, and his detective business has been newly shut down by the pandemic. One celebrity on his screen asks if he’s tried crossword puzzles, which he rejects out of hand, despite the fact that several are strewn in front of him.

I happened to watch the movie in theaters and then again streamed at home, and the second time I noticed the crosswords. I didn’t even consider trying to identify them.

But then in a crossword Discord I’m in, Ben Zimmer posted a screenshot and almost immediately constructor Brian Thomas was able to identify both our grid and Pao Roy’s June 17, 2022 puzzle by the grid shapes. (Ours is a bit of an unusual grid, with left-right symmetry and a single spanner across the third row, but still, it’s an amazing feat of identification.)

See what he was working with, from the bottom right above:

There’s still a little mystery about why crosswords from mid-2022 would appear here, given that the film was wrapped in September, 2021, but if I had to speculate I’d guess that they needed to revise some of the dialog in light of the circumstances of the on-screen cameo appearances.