The crossword puzzle, which was syndicated, appeared last week in several newspapers across the United States.
“Shylock” is a reference to the grotesque stereotypic fictional Jewish character from Shakespeare’s play, “The Merchant of Venice,” the ADL said in a statement.
ADL National Director Abraham H. Foxman said in a letter to Tribune Media Services, “Perhaps the puzzle authors were unaware of the use of Shakespeare’s Shylock character throughout the years as a vehicle for anti-Semitism.
"Selecting Shylock to elicit the answer ‘Jew’ demonstrates cultural ignorance and an extreme lack of sensitivity. Even if done inadvertently, such a linkage perpetuates classic anti-Semitic stereotypes of Jews as evil and money-hungry.”
The Jewish group urged Tribune Media Services to print an apology and refrain from using clues that reinforce negative stereotypes about Jews or other groups in the future.