New York Times Sunday Crossword Contest Escape Room

Yesterday’s New York Times crossword puzzle (November 11, 2018) was an escape room in crossword form. It was also a contest. Can you escape this crossword puzzle?

The grid for the NY Times "Escape Room" crossword puzzle.

Crossword Puzzle Contest

This crossword escape room puzzle was the 2018 New York Times Crossword Puzzle Contest.

To enter the contest, email your solution to by Tuesday at 6 p.m. Eastern time. You might win more puzzles… a whole years’ worth in the form of a calendar.

Escape Room Crossword Instructions

“This crossword represents an escape room, with four articles you’ll need hidden inside. After you complete the grid, follow the directions at 41-, 70- and 99-Across to find what to do next. Working correctly will lead you to a four-word phrase with a total of 12 letters. That is your answer.”

If you’re new to crossword puzzles, this is a difficult one. It’s not particularly challenging, as far as New York Times Sunday crossword puzzles go, but the trick is, well, tricky, especially for less experienced puzzlers.

Escape Rooms

In this blog post, puzzle creator Eric Berlin, writes a bit about his love for escape rooms. He also mentions how to find the good ones… spoiler… it’s us!

Turns out, it’s pretty hard to turn the Sunday crossword into an escape room. We think he did a great job!

At the end of the blog post Eric writes, “…if it encourages you to get your friends together to try a real escape room, all the better.” We couldn’t agree more!

Thank you for the shout-out Eric.


The deadline for submissions to the contest has past. The New York Times receive almost 20,000 entries to this contest, which was a record number of entries. You can find the solution in this blog post.


  1. Just finished with my wife. We get the magazine every week but never do the crossword. But when we saw you mentioned it we made sure to give it a shot. It took us a while but was super awesome! Thank you.

    1. Woot! We aren’t regular crossworders either (although I could see us getting hooked). This one took us some time to work-through as well.

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