In the painful aftermath of the shuttering of Rupert Murdoch’s racy London Sunday newspaper, News of the World, the fired writers took a parting shot at their least-loved editor, News International Chief Rebekah Brooks, who, unlike the reporters, managed to cling to her job. They embedded barbed insults to her in the crossword puzzle of the final edition, including her surname. The former staffers piled on, as reported in the London daily, The Independent:
“The tone of the 8,674th and final edition of the News of the World (NOTW) was one of defiance.
“The words on the front page simmered with the barely hidden anger of a staff who felt that News Corp’s decision to fold the 168-year-old paper was wholly unjustified.
“In making ‘a very proud farewell to our 7.5m loyal readers’, it shouted out that it still had an audience.
“The accompanying assertion that the NOTW was ‘The world’s greatest newspaper 1843-2011’ underlined the point that it had more than a century of tradition before Rupert Murdoch turned up in 1969. This was the newspaper equivalent of being escorted off the premises, feet dragging every step of the way.
‘Among the clues in the quick crossword were the words ‘brook’, ‘stink’ and ‘catastrophe’, while the cryptic puzzle contained the rather less subtle ‘criminal enterprise’, ‘string of recordings’ and ‘woman stares wildly at calamity – perhaps a reference to Rebekah Brooks.”
According to the tabloid, The Mirror, which gleefully reported on the final cross word puzzle, “The answers, at the bottom of page, included “Deplored”, “Tart”, “Stench” and “Disaster”.