The New York Times’ crossword can now haunt your living room in augmented reality

A solved mini New York Times crossword overlaid on my couch, with a banner that says “Congrats! You solved the puzzle!”
I’ve done it. | New York Times

A miniature New York Times crossword can now float above your couch, courtesy of an augmented reality effect available on the Times’ Instagram page. Pull up the effect on your phone, and a prompt will appear saying, “The crossword has shattered into pieces!” A small crossword sits on whatever surface you’ve picked, while a cloud of letter shards hovers above it. As you move your camera around, the change in perspective will reveal the words that solve the puzzle.

It uses the same principle of perspective, anamorphosis, that some artists play with to make work that creates an optical illusion when viewed from a specific vantage point. It’s a neat concept, but it’s not exactly the same as actually solving a crossword. Fiddling with your…

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