Why Is the New York Times Crossword So Clueless About Race and Gender?

The New York Times crossword puzzle is like an elderly uncle: lovable and fun but prone to sounding out of touch. Sometimes that fustiness is charming, like when longtime puzzle editor Will Shortz sparred with writer Julianne Smolinski over the definition of the word Illin’.

But Tuesday’s puzzle includes a clue and answer that many solvers are complaining falls on the uglier end of the spectrum. On today’s grid, 31 Down runs straight through the center of the puzzle. The answer: HAREM....


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