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This doesn't look good

A major crossword puzzle editor may be plagiarizing from The New York Times

Crossword editor Timothy Parker helms the USA Today puzzle as well as Universal Crossword, a widely syndicated puzzle. In 65 instances, he replicated puzzle themes and answers from The New York Times' crossword, a new FiveThirtyEight report finds.

FiveThirtyEight looked at a database assembled by a crossword editor and a software engineer. In addition to appearing to copy distinct elements from other puzzles, Parker published crosswords under pseudonymous bylines in both series he edits.

While Parker admitted to using pseudonyms, he denied accusations of plagiarism.

"To me, it's just mere coincidence," he said. "We don't look at anybody else's puzzles or really care about anyone else’s puzzles."

The experts FiveThirtyEight spoke with suggested the similarities between Parker's puzzles and others go beyond coincidence. Read the full report here.