July 11th, 2011
05:51 AM GMT
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(CNN) – The conditions of their surrender were clear: “no libels or any hidden mocking messages of the chief executive” Rebekah Brooks, in the final edition.

But these are News of the World employees we are talking about.

With the last rendition of the paper, “Thank You & Goodbye,” sitting on the copy desk, Brooks – the current chief executive of News International and former News of the World editor – recognized that the final issue of the 168-year-old British tabloid institution could be used as prime real estate for a proper lambasting.

“She brought in two very senior Sun journalists to go though every line on every page with a fine toothcomb,” a News of the World employee told the Daily Mail. “But they failed and we’ve had the last laugh.”

It took until the 47th page of the edition, but the roughly 200 journalists now out of a job as a result of the scandal did have the last laugh, splicing some “less than obvious” jibes in the paper’s crossword section.

Latent attacks resided in the final paper's Quickie puzzle, with clues such as "Brook", "stink", "catastrophe" and "digital protection" alluding to Brook’s alleged involvement in the paper’s systematic hacking of the phone messages of murder and terrorists victims, politicians and celebrities. Police said last Thursday they had identified almost 4,000 potential targets of hacking.

Answers to the Quickie puzzle included "deplored”, “desist”, “disaster”, “menace”, “racket”, “stench” and “tart."

Brooks has denied having any involvement or knowledge of the practice – which also included the regular bribing of police officers to get story tips – a claim her former employees denounce.

The choices for the Cryptic Crossword cut even closer to the bone, according to the Telegraph, with clues including: "criminal enterprise", "mix in prison", "string of recordings" and "will fear new security measure."

One answer for the Cryptic Crossword, “firewall”, is assumed to be a reference to the staff being blocked from using the internet following the announcement of the paper’s closure, the Guardian said.

Although the future of the paper’s staff and financial impact of the closure remain uncertain, the final edition’s crossword page has forever immortalized the staff’s view of Brooks and what they consider to be her failure as the newspaper’s former editor.

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soundoff (24 Responses)
  1. Chagrined

    I hope America will not allow Rupert Murdoch to trash our country the way he has England. Tabloid trash is for the little people, the crazy people and the great unwashed!
    Rupert Murdoch's tabloid trash is inimical to our Constitutional First Amendment freedoms. There should be no place in America for Rupert Murdoch!

    July 11, 2011 at 6:50 am |
  2. PeterB

    I'd say Brooks sent a very subtle email to Rupert, which had an attachment showing his testicles on a chopping board and vague referrences to an encrypted set of "background material" sent to Wikileaks.

    Which is why Rupert is so supportive and wants her kept very close to him.

    July 11, 2011 at 7:20 am |
  3. joelle esther benyayer

    crossword well word cross the democracy and freedom or arts and crossword of cultures joelle esther benyayer the sacem like the crossword or names money a word a word a man a man yep joelle esther benyayer la parole donnée ou la democracy reprise

    July 11, 2011 at 7:57 am |
  4. Sir Crispin

    Chagrined, have you heard of Rupert's Fox News? It's tv trash for people unable to read tabloids. As a conservative myself, I find Fox to be insulting to the intelligence of any thinking member of the right. And I am not alone, several others have made the same observation. At least they finally had the sense to dump that raving looney-tunes Glenn Beck.

    July 11, 2011 at 8:12 am |
  5. TreadOnYou

    Well it sure looks like Murdoch got his hooks into 9/11


    July 11, 2011 at 8:50 am |
  6. Max

    For Cagrined above, Murdoch is already doing this and will continue. The vicious polarisation of US politics has the fingerprints of his media corporations over a large part of it.

    July 11, 2011 at 9:56 am |
  7. Eugene Pitts

    RE: Chagrined's "soundoff," Murdoch has a history of trashing England. Go back and look at what was done to the London Times; read the Times' editors book about Murdoch. Note that the U.S. Congress had to enact a special law to allow Aussie Murdoch to by US media and another to allow him to buy both TV and newspaper properties in the same city. I haven't seen a list of his political contributions, but I'll bet .... Look at Fox news coverage before and after purchase, look at the Wall Street Journal before and after, etc. etc. Looks like "trash for cash" jobs to me.

    July 11, 2011 at 11:26 am |
  8. coder

    10 to 1 she has an accident soon

    July 11, 2011 at 1:34 pm |
  9. Albatross

    A foreign national, Rupert Murdoch assisted by Saudi Prince al-Taleel, has essentially taken control of the U.S. Republican party and is using it to drive his feudalistic, corporate politics down America's throat (assisted by our corrupt Supreme Court, which has legalized bribery).

    July 11, 2011 at 4:23 pm |
  10. get off of oil NOW

    you don't have to worry about trashing this country as it's already been trashed. clinton and friends started it and the chinese will finish it. the tanks are ready to roll in people. 2012. mark my words.

    July 11, 2011 at 4:30 pm |
  11. just sayin'

    And so goes a big turd swirling down and away. May media live up to its mission to tell the news, not make it.

    July 11, 2011 at 5:18 pm |
  12. Aggie

    Just goes to show the employees of the paper were not innocent, they deserved to be thrown into a sewer and left to fester

    July 11, 2011 at 5:35 pm |
  13. toneitdown

    Chagrined– take off your USA blinders. Murdoch, Roger Ailes & Fox News have already done far worse to USA than UK. That their greed & arrogance may have ruined their chance to take control of BSkyB is a sliver lining– and actually very well could end up having a more positive effect than negative. At least in the UK there is still a chance, while it is far too late for the US.

    July 11, 2011 at 7:43 pm |
  14. Mile Madinah

    All good things have to come to an end!


    July 13, 2011 at 8:23 pm |
  15. Anthony R

    Murdoch's are only meeting the MP select committee on Tuesday because the MP's threatened to jail them!

    Capitalist scum at its worse.

    July 15, 2011 at 12:50 pm |
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