Crossword Mysteries: A Puzzle to Die For (2019) - full transcript

A crossword is found on the murdered owner of a burglarized art gallery. Tess, a Sentinel crossword editor, finds clues in crosswords. Eventually, detective Logan accepts her clues and help. Tess is also running a crossword tournament. - stop by if you're interested in the nutritional composition of food
Come on, pick it up!

You ruined my Sunday again.

Hey, Tess. What about
an answer for 24 down?

I wish I could.

OK, Tess. Six letters
for "Play with matches"?

That would have to be...

tennis of course.

What brings you
down here, Pierre?

Killing two birds
with one stone.

I wanted to show you the program
for the crosswords tournament.

- Fresh from the printer's.
- This looks great. I love it!

The other bird? I'm dropping
off our press release

- to the events' editor.
- Then follow me.

Detective O'Connor,
what have we got?

Um, our victim
is Alan Nightingale.

He's the owner of the gallery.
The cleaning crew discovered

the body at 6 a.m. this morning.
The security system is down

for repairs, which is why
we didn't have video

- and no alarm that went off.
- That's convenient. Inside job?

It's possible.
Now, the security system

was handled by an assistant
named Carmichael

but he's on vacation in Florida.
And if you look above you,

you can see that our skylight
was pried open by our intruder

and he rappelled down this rope.
Must be a pretty good climber.

Careless to have left
a rope behind, huh?

He must have been in a hurry.
I think our victim

was shot as he walked in
on a robbery.

- What did they take?
- They told me they took this:

an oil painting, Third Duke

of Dorset's Hunter
with Groom and Dog.

- Haha! That's quite a mouthful.
- Yeah,

tell me about it.
But extremely valuable.

Victim suffered three gunshot
wounds, but we only found

one shell casing over there
on the other side of the room.

Oh! This was found
in his back pocket.

Was the victim
into horoscopes or what?

No, it's a crossword puzzle.
Unfortunately, couldn't

finish it. Found it
in his back pocket.

Order DNA on the frame,
on the victim's clothing

- and on the skylight.
- And the rope. I'm on it.

Also gonna need a warrant
for his phone records

to see who he was talking to
before he was killed.

Anything else, Chief?

I'm just looking out
for you, Logan, that's all.

Well, you know what?

Looking out for you too, Chief.

Listen, I think we're done here.
I'm just gonna get lab results

back from Forensics. So I'm gonna
head down to The Sentinel.

I'm gonna talk to Harris,
he's always good for some leads.

- Very good, carry on.
- Alright.

Oh, Detective,
and one more thing.

- Yes, sir.
- Your sister's

expecting you for dinner
this Sunday, and she says,

"This time, no talking shop,
and your brother

is bringing the kids."

I'll see you later, Pop.

Later, son.

My last official duty
as head of the tournament.

After that, it's up to you.

I hope I'm up for the challenge.

Oh, you will be. You have

people skills and puzzle skills.
And in five years,

I don't think I've ever been
able to stump you with a clue.

Besides, I'll still help you
handle the press.

- You deserve to relax.
- Relax? Please.

I'll be competing
in the tournament too.

- Join me for lunch later?
- Oh, I'd love to,

but I'm actually
meeting my aunt.

We still on for the volunteer
meeting this afternoon?

Wouldn't miss it for the world.

I'll see you then.

Good morning, Harris.

How's the crime beat
treating you this morning?

- Need another word for bribery.
- "Bribery," hmm...

- try graft.
- Who needs a thesaurus

when I have you
at the next desk?

So, the tournament starts
this Sunday, right?

Oh yeah.
Cutthroat competitors,

wicked wordplay,
sinister sarcasm;

it's really a crime scene
all its own.

Good morning, Tess.

I just finished a letter
that needs your signature.

Oh, thank you, Josephine.

Oh, there's actually
a little typo.

No worries,
I'll take care of it.

- OK.
- OK.

So is Josephine your assistant
or the other way around?

You're too nice.

She's new, she'll get better.

What's wrong with looking
at the bright side of things?

Don't ask me,
I work at the crime beat.

So, your new crossword
ready to go to press?

Almost. I just have
one 8-letter word.

Second letter o, sixth letter r.



Heads up. Boss is approaching.

Cutting it close as usual, Tess?

I just got our monthly report.

Digital subscriptions are up 8%.

And our research says
it's largely thanks to

the crosswords. A bright spot
in an age of fading print.

- Thank you.
- Mm-hmm.

- Second only to crime beat.
- Well, yeah.

Crime is the gift that keeps
giving. There was a murder

- last night, a downtown gallery.
- Oh no, what happened?

Painting was stolen
from the Nightingale

collection, and the gallery
owner was murdered.


Oh, my gosh! My... my aunt
is a friend of the owner.

Alan Nightingale?

I'm sorry, Tess.

Aunt Candace, I heard
about your friend. I'm so sorry.

Alan sold me a painting
just last week.

He was such a kind man.

Always ready
with a joke or story.

Hard nose when it came
to business,

but... lovely nonetheless.

We shared a passion
for opera and the arts.

I used to go to the Met
with Alan and his wife.

- Or ex-wife now.
- Ex-wife?

Mhm. Veronica.
They split last year

in a very nasty divorce.

I tried to maintain
friendship with both of them,

but it was like
walking a tightrope.

Why don't we order
some food and then we can

- talk more about him.
- Excellent idea.

And thank you for being here.

Hey. Wow, what a day!
I will have a mocha, please.

OK, let me sweeten
my offer from before.

- 34 across for a Bear Paw.
- You know I can't do that.

Come on, who's gonna know?

Listen, I would love
to help you, but I never

- give away answers.
- OK, alright.

Some of us have
appointments to keep, so...

- Patience is a virtue.
- So is punctuality.

Have a nice day.

Hi. Coffee black.

Who's that Harris
is talking to over there?

Uh, a detective, I think.

And I guess the painting

was appraised upwards
of a million dollars.

An intruder broke through
the skylight,

came down a rope, stole
the painting around midnight.

Think this crime is connected
to that string of art thefts

- the past few years?
- I don't know, Harris. Maybe.

But those weren't violent, know
what I mean? Speaking art heist,

whatever happened to the series
you were doing last year?

I got pulled off it to work
on the city hall scandal.

Really? Wow.

Did Alan Nightingale's name
ever come out?

I'll have to look
through my notes.

- OK. May I help you?
- Me?

- No, the person behind you.
- Oh. No, I was actually just

gonna borrow the stapler.

Hmm. 'Cause the one

next to you on this desk here
is not good enough, huh?


We meet again,
Ms. Patience.

Yes. Mr. Punctuality, hi.

- You already know each other?
- Not exactly, no.

Detective Logan O'Connor,

- Tess Harper.
- Tess here

- is our crossword puzzle editor.
- A what?!

Are you handling
the Nightingale case?

Yeah. Yeah, I am.
Why do you ask?

My aunt knew him.
They were actually very close,

and, well, she's really
shaken up.

I hope you can find out
who did it.

I intend to.

So, what does a crossword editor

do anyway? Are you the one that
actually writes all the puzzles?

I write about half of them,
and the rest I edit.

I would never sleep
if I wrote them all.

Our puzzles come in
from contributors

all over the world
who crave crosswords' glory.

Wow. It takes
all kinds, huh?

I find it interesting
'cause it's obvious

that Nightingale was
a fan of your work.

We found a Sentinel
Sunday puzzle on him.

Nightingale did
the Sunday puzzle?

Mm-hmm. Well, not all.
He just filled in

- the across clues in cursive.
- Just the across clues

in cursive? That's...
that's really strange.

What's so strange about it?

You don't do crosswords, do you?

No, I'm a little too busy
to play games.

Well, it's

too bad 'cause crosswords
can, you know, broaden

your intellectual horizons.

And I don't know,
maybe you like yours narrow.

Anyway, uh...

that's just not how anyone
fills out a crossword.

Well, Nightingale did.

In cursive? With no mistakes?
I'm sorry for all the questions.

No, no, this is fun.
I mean, usually,

I'm the one interrogating,
but this is a refreshing change.

Good. Great. OK, I just had
a couple more things...

And as much as I'd like
to, you know, say more,

I'm not at liberty
to reveal any answers.

Right. Yeah, I know
just how you feel.

- Yeah.
- Harris.

See you.

So, what's his deal?

He's a Monday puzzle,
simplest one of the week.

I'd like to thank
the folks at the Cena Note

for sponsoring our tournament
this year.

This is a bittersweet moment.

I've loved

heading the tournament
the past five years,

but it is time for me to...

pass the torch.

Thank you, Pierre.

And I'd like to say hello
to our new volunteers,

Alexander and Elizabeth. They're
new in town, so let's give them

a warm welcome.

The pleasure's all ours.

I'm always excited
to meet new puzzle heads.

With the competition only

six days away, we definitely
have our work cut out for us.

So I will see you at the hotel

this afternoon,
and we'll begin setting up.

Thank you.


- is that last Sunday's paper?
- Uh, yes, why?

I just want to take
a peek at it for a second.


This has gotta be the work
of at least a two-person crew.

You've got the thief,
someone to handle

the security system,
the planner and the fence.

Not one person can handle
all of that.

I agree. And the only prints
we found on the frame matched

Nightingale. We got no prints,
no DNA on the roof

- or the skylight.
- Mm-hmm.

Anyway, we do have a few leads.
CSI said this rope here

found at the crime scene is
a specialized 70m climbing rope.

OK. We might be able
to source that rope

to a local vendor. And...

What do we know
about the murder weapon?

The distinct markings
on the casing point

to the style of 9mm
built in the fifties.

A lot of collectors have them.

Leaves very distinct markings
on the shell casings here

and ejects them
further than most handguns.

That might explain
why the shell casing was found

halfway across the room.
OK, suspects,

what do we know
about the victim's family?

He had a brother, he's deceased.
And his next of kin

is his ex-wife, Veronica,
so I'll pay her a visit.

What about that, uh...
that assistant

at the gallery who was
in charge of the cameras?

- Carmichael.
- Yeah.

Interesting. He left a day
before the murder

to go on a vacation to Florida.

This guy here.

Checked flight records, and they
confirmed he was in Florida.

But what's interesting is here's
a guy who's a head of security

and he buys himself a ticket

to go on vacation
the day before the murder.

Hmm... OK, well, since
the gallery security system

was down, I want you to check
to see if there are any

- neighbourhood cameras...
- Don't worry about it, Pop.

- I know, you're already on it.
- Already on it.

- Hi.
- May I help you?

Yes, actually you can.
I'm Detective O'Connor, NYPD.

I'm actually investigating
a break-in down the street,

and I saw that your restaurant
has a security camera

out back in the alley. I'd like
to take a look at the footage.

Uh, sure. My manager
will be back

in a few minutes.
She can help you with that.

OK. Alright, that's fine.
Why don't you set me up

with one of these Danishes
and a black coffee.

- Pre-med, huh?
- How did you know?

Got a physiology textbook and
MCAT brochure on the counter.

Looks like you're juggling
job and school, huh?

- Trying to anyway.
- Haha! Thank you very much.

Listen, I don't know
if you ever met

or got to know that
gallery owner down the street.

He used to come
in here all the time.

Really? And what was he like?

Always friendly,
big tipper until recently.


He started
barely tipping at all.

He said he'd make it up
to me soon.

He seemed stressed lately.


This room is amazing!

How did you ever get us
into the grand ballroom?

Usually, we're crammed
into the other one.

My aunt pulled a few strings.
She knows the hotel manager.


Pierre, can I ask you something?
Have you ever heard

of someone filling out
a crossword

with just the across clues
and in cursive?

I don't think so. Why?

It's just The Sentinel's
crossword puzzle

was actually found
at the scene of a crime.

A friend of my aunt's
was murdered.

- He was a gallery owner downtown.
- That's shocking.

Yeah, I know.

- I am sorry, Tess.
- Right. Ahem.

Hey. How's it going?

So, uh, well, interesting.

I went down to the dinner,
have a little chat

with that waitress.
You know, the dinner Nightingale

used to go to. And she said,
that he seemed stressed lately,

like he was having money problems.
That was interesting.

- I also got this footage here.
- Great, let's see it.

Now, this is a shot
from the alley down the street.

Whoa, whoa, where does
that fire escape go to?

That is the apartment building
next to the gallery, Dad.

It's a perfect access
to the roof.

- There. Look at that.
- That could be our thief.

Mm-hmm. Now look at this.
I'm fast-forwarding

9 minutes and 2 seconds and...

- You see that?
- Mm-hmm.

That's a squad car,
sirens blaring, drives past.

That siren obviously
spooks our intruder.

Intruder makes a hasty exit and
the reason why he left the rope.

Could be, yeah.
It's hard to say, but I think

that the thief might have put

that painting inside
that plastic tube on their back.

This is what's strange though.
The coroner's reading

of the body temperature of the
victim at 7 a.m. the crime scene

said 92.6 degrees, right?
Every hour after death,

the body temperature dips
1.5 degrees which would put

the time of death at 2 a.m.,
but this footage is telling us

the break-in at midnight.

OK, so what do we have?
We've got a timeframe.

We've just got
to narrow it down, right?


- Can I ask you something?
- Mm-hmm.

The detective said the murder
happened at midnight,

- right?
- Yes.

And the painting
that was stolen was of a horse

- from Nightingale's gallery?
- Yes. Why?

- Wait a minute.
- What? What is it?

OK, I know this is gonna sound
completely crazy, but...

I think there are clues
to the crime in his puzzle.

: So any luck finding out
where that rope was purchased?

We're making a list
of local vendors in the area,

seeing who could be
the supplier, yeah.

- Someone's looking for you.
- What?

- Right over there.
- Thank you.

Thank you so much
for seeing me, Detective.

Um, yeah.
Did I have a choice?

Uh, nope. So I was looking
at the crossword

that was found
at the scene of the crime,

and I noticed something.

There are clues
in this crossword puzzle.

What are you talking about?

Let me show you.

Here we go.

1 across, the clue
was Charlie Parker's

- nickname. The answer is Bird.
- Mm-hmm.

The crime occurred
at the Nightingale gallery.

44 across,
"royalty with a curfew."

The answer is Cinderella.
Cinderella's curfew was

midnight, same time
as the murder. 53 across,

"animal aged one".
The answer is

yearling. The stolen painting
was of a horse.


So you...
you honestly think

this is a coincidence?

When we're trying to solve
a murder case, we have hundreds

if not thousands of clues
with evidence.

I think I'm gonna focus
on that for now.

But all of these clues
are in a puzzle that's released

a week before the break-in.
I mean, that's pretty peculiar,

- you have to admit that.
- Ms. Harper, let me tell you

a story. When I was a kid,

my parents would take me
to the shore all the time.

I'd lie down on the beach
and look up.

I'd see nine shapes
in the clouds.

Just because one of those shapes
was an elephant

didn't mean it was one.

You're obviously
not taking this seriously.

Sorry. Not here to play games,
I'm trying to solve a murder.

Right. And I'm trying to help.
And I'm telling you

these crosswords are evidence.

OK, let me guess. This was
not one of your puzzles,

- was it?
- No, this was a submission.

Great. So why don't you take
this and go talk to the person

- who submitted it.
- Well, it was submitted

by Abigail Krebbs.
All of her puzzles come

through e-mail. I reached out
to the contact number;

it turns out it's a bar
called The Silver Cat.

They've never heard of her.
I e-mailed her, no response.

I have her address,
but since you, you know,

you seem like you're going
to be zero help,

I'll check it out myself.
Thank you for your time.

OK. That's good.

It was a good chat.

You know,

I know Logan's your buddy,
but he is so stubborn.

He solved more cases
in the force than any detective.

Fine. Hey, thanks
for tagging along. You need

to get out of the office,
you practically live there.

Oh, I've still been
getting my steps in,

going up and down the stairs
at the archives

digging for more info
on Nightingale.

He was a colourful guy.
Was born in England actually.

Alright, keep working
the Nightingale side,

I'll keep trying to find
clues in the puzzles.

Uh, OK, "486."

This should be
Abigail's address here.

Wait, this is a funeral home.

So what do you think?

I don't know what to think.

I do have to get down
to the tournament though.

Are you OK?

Yeah. I just had
an odd morning.

But I'm fine. Hey!

-: Hi, Tess.
- I wanted to ask you guys,

where did you call home
before New York?

Well, we're yachters,

so home is usually on the
ocean, but our home base

was Newport, Rhode Island.
A lovely Victorian cottage.

On a hill overlooking
Bradley's Beach.

Don't you mean Bailey's Beach?

Right. Of course.


Oh, Tess! Darling!

Hey, Candace,
what are you doing here?

Just dropping by to see my niece

setting up her big event.

So good to see you. I wanted
to introduce you to Pierre.

- Oh! Enchantée.
- Pleasure.

So we have you to thank
for this amazing room?

What's the point of having
friends in high places

if one doesn't ask a favour
every now and then?

- Well, thank you.
- Mm-hmm. Now come on,

I want to introduce you
to the hotel manager.

- And then we'll have some tea.
- Great.

Um, I actually wanted
to talk to you about something.

Hmm... Au revoir.

Clues hidden
in the crosswords? How odd.

I know. And what's so
frustrating is that detective

is ignoring a clue
to who killed Alan.

You know what?

You said you were friends
with Alan's ex-wife, right?

Yes. Veronica.
She owns a bakery downtown. Why?

I don't know.
I just thought maybe if I could

speak to some people
who knew him and just

- find out what they know.
- And I prefer that my niece

- not take unnecessary risks.
- Please. I wrestle

unruly adjectives every day.

Why is that not reassuring?

Hi. Here's what you asked for.
The red folder

has all the puzzles
written by Abigail Krebbs.

The blue folder
has all the articles

- on recent art heists.
- Great.

Uh, or was it
the other way around?

I'll figure it out, it's OK.
Would you mind also

making a few extra copies of
the puzzle for the tournament?

- I feel like we always run short.
- I'm on it.

What's that for?

I just want to check

if any other crosswords might be
linked to other art heists

over the last couple of years.

Oh, I gotta get home and change.

I'm headed to Nightingale's
memorial service to see

if I could find anything out.
Do you want to join me?

I'm heads down digging
for info on Nightingale,

but if I can,
I'll try to make it.

Sometimes, a memorial service
is better than a line-up.

- See you later.
- Bye.

- Thank you.
- No thank you.

Feels like poor Alan
got quite a turnout.

I'm just grateful
they're holding this here.

Alan always felt at home
around art.

I think someone's
trying to say hi.

- Is that a friend of yours?
- Oh! Yes, Elaine Wilcox.

Elaine's an art dealer
and close friend.

Elaine, have you met
my niece, Tess.

I'm sorry for your loss.
My aunt told me

- you were very close with Alan.
- We used to be close,

but I hadn't spoken to him
in over a year.

Judging from the turnout, it
seems he had a lot of friends.

Any tears here are
of a crocodile variety.

Alan got his just deserts.
Excuse me.


So, are you here
interfering with my case?

No, I am here with my aunt.

Nightingale was
a friend of hers,

remember? But I did just speak

with Elaine Wilcox over there.
She's an art dealer who worked

with Alan. She said
he got "his just deserts."

- Interesting, huh?
- Oh yeah.

No, it's very interesting, Tess,
but it's hardly a confession.

Tess, introduce me to
your extremely handsome friend.

Candace Wentworth,

- Detective O'Connor, NYPD.
- How do you do, Ma'am?

Detective. You wouldn't be
related to Chauncey O'Connor,

- would you?
- Yeah, that's my dad.

Don't be surprised.
My aunt knows everyone in town.

Well, goes with the
territory, I suppose, right?

Park Avenue therapist

with a bestselling
self-help book.

Detective, you wouldn't
have a police file

on me, would you?

No, I'm just good at my job.

I do hope that you can
solve this case.

Alan was a dear friend

- of mine.
- You know, Ms. Wentworth,

if you don't mind me asking,
when was last time you saw him?

Last week.

Did you notice anything
out of the ordinary about him?

Alan did seem in a hurry
to sell the painting.

Not his usual
tough negotiator self.

Do you think anybody would
have a grudge against him?

He did have a nasty split
with his wife Veronica

last year.
Perhaps that's

why she didn't show tonight,
but Veronica would never

- go so far as murder.
- Mm-hmm.

- Detective.
- Pleasure to meet you.

Wow, she's interesting.

Gotta give him some credit
for his unique... use of colour.


You don't have time
for crosswords,

- but you have time for art?
- No, I don't,

but I can always appreciate
the form and colour

of one our great
abstract expressionists.

- Did two years art theft detail.
- Seriously?

Who's making
assumptions now, huh?

- Why did you leave?
- Can you tell me what that is?

- It's a canapé.
- Right.

They should get some sliders
in here or some fries.

I'm beginning to understand
why it wasn't a good fit.

Oh, I'm starving.

Um, excuse me.

- Hey.
- Oh, hey, you made it!

- Yeah.
- You sign this, right?

No, just go ahead. Here, I'll
help you out, just grab that.

Hey, who's Logan talking to?

Come on, you owe me.

- For what?
- For what? How many adjectives

have I given you
in the last month?

- Come on.
- Fine. That's Carmichael.

He was in charge of the security
system at the gallery,

the one that was networking
the night of the crime.

- And how do you know this?
- Logan showed me his photo

- to see if it'd ring any bells.
- I'm sorry, Logan is giving you

- information and not me.
- Yeah, that's the way it works

with Logan. You share something
with him; he'll share something

with you.
Trust me, I've been trying.

That's odd.

Why are Elizabeth
and Alexander here?

- Who?
- They're

the two new volunteers down
at the crossword's event.

I just didn't really think
this was their crowd.


Did you know
Mr. Nightingale?

He was my boss. Worked
for him down at the gallery.

What kind of work
did you do for him?

Everything really.
The website,

- new installations, the works.
- What was he like to work for?

He seemed perfect,
until payday rolled around.

Then he'd come up with a million
excuses to forget to pay me.

- No way.
- Yeah.

Oh, man, I know that too well.
I've had so many bosses

just hold that wallet
too tight, you know?

No one liked Nightingale.
He even skimped

on the security system.
It was always down.


How do you know Nightingale?

Oh, I don't. No,
I'm Detective O'Connor, NYPD.

Yeah, I'm actually investigating
the Nightingale case.

How was your trip to Florida?

It was great.
You know, I did a lot of...

- a lot of sailing.
- Really?

- Yeah.
- Hmm, sailing?

- Yeah.
- Expensive hobby.

- It's a passion.
- Yeah.

Um, you know,
I just save up during the year.


It's a coincidence though,
isn't it? Come on.

You leaving for Florida to sail
the day before the heist.

You know, the day

before the security system
went down...

Look, alright, I feel terrible
for what happened, OK?

You got any idea who killed him?

Nightingale got
into an argument with someone

over the phone
the day before the murder.

- Mm-hmm.
- Yeah, a real shouting match.

It wasn't like him at all.

- Who with?
- Wish I knew,

but whoever it was,

Nightingale sounded
really upset.

So what did Carmichael have to
say about the security system?


- Sorry.
- My cue to leave.

- Yeah, maybe.
- See you, buddy.

- Yeah, yeah, buddy.
- You know, I checked out

the address of the person
who submitted the puzzles.

Turns out to be a funeral home.

And the phone number was
to a bar called the Silver Cat.


So don't you see?
It's a puzzle!

The puzzle writer is probably
trying to send a message

to whoever comes looking.
Curiosity killed the cat.

Tess, the world is not a puzzle,

and everything in it
isn't a clue.

OK, maybe to you it isn't.
I'm just trying to say

Abigail Krebbs is clearly
just an alias for whoever

- is writing these puzzles.
- And the last time I checked,

impersonating a puzzle writer
wasn't a crime. OK?

Now, if you'll excuse me.

Elaine. Hi,
I'm Detective O'Connor, NYPD.

I was wondering if I could ask
you questions about the murder.

Sure. You have any questions,
you can call my lawyer first.

She's easy to find.

The same lawyer the mayor uses.

Excuse me, Detective O'Connor.

That detective seems nice.

Nice? That's one way
of putting it.

You know, I have upgraded him
to a Thursday puzzle though.

Yeah, it's difficult,
but full of surprises.

- Ha.
- You know,

you were saying Alan's ex-wife
had a bakery uptown, right?

Yes, the Upper Crust.

Fitting name for an uptown
pie shop, don't you think?


And why do you ask?

- Oh no, I'm just curious.
- Aaah...

why don't I believe you?

I will be fine.

I am gonna go though,
I have a lot of work to do.

Wait a minute.

Detective, it's Tess Harper.

Call me as soon as you can.

I found something.

Interesting, huh?

Pretty convincing. Have you
showed all of this to Logan?

No, because he hasn't returned
any of my five messages.

- Anything new on your end?
- Following up on something

I found in the archives.

- Oh, anything good?
- I'll let you know.

Hi, Pierre. Yes, I'll be
down there in just a minute.

I'm just gonna stop on the
way and get some treats

for the volunteers. OK.

Hi. I was hoping to get

- a couple dozen apple tarts.
- Absolutely.

Are you Veronica?

I think you know my aunt,
Candace Wentworth.

She's always telling me
to stop by.

Well, any niece of Candace
is a friend of mine.

- It's a beautiful bakery.
- Thank you.

Your aunt is
one of my best customers.

Yeah, she said that you two
had been friends a long time.

For at least ten opera seasons.

Candace is a delight.
Please thank her for the flowers

- she sent.
- Oh, she told me

about Alan. I'm so sorry
for your loss.

Thank you, but I lost
Alan years ago.

- Oh?
- There was something else

in his life I couldn't
compete with... his work.

That gallery was his obsession.

He'd do anything
to keep it afloat.

I can't imagine though.

That must have just been
so shocking.

Well, over the years,

Alan got into
some shady dealings

that I wanted no part in.

Listen, I'm only telling you
this because I'm a friend

of Candace, but Alan's
only half the story.

What do you mean?

Well, well.

Tess! What are you doing here?

I'll just wait
for my order over here.

Hi, Veronica.

I'm Detective O'Connor, NYPD.

I was wondering if I could
ask you a few questions

about the murder
of Alan Nightingale.

Oh, I'd love to,

but I have a bakery to run.

After the divorce,
Alan and I weren't close,

- so I probably can't help you.
- You can help me by telling me

- your whereabouts Sunday night.
- I was working here.

I may be the owner, but I'm
also the overnight baker.

I was here baking
pies that night.

If you'll excuse me,
I have a customer.


- Hi.
- What are you doing here?

What? Is it a crime
to like apple pies?

You actually expect me
to believe that you and I

bumping into each other here
is coincidence?

Yeah, coincidence.

Same as all those crime clues
you keep ignoring in crosswords.

You're actually interfering
with a police investigation.

- I'm trying to help.
- Really?

Do you want to know
why Veronica's alibi is phony?

Sure. Yeah, I do actually.
Lay it on me.

Do you see those boxes
over there?

They say "tartes surgelées,"

frozen pies.

OK, but Veronica
just told me she was up

- all night baking pies.
- Exactement.

Oh! Oh, right.

Convicted by pie crust.

Yeah, Tess, that's...
that evidence is really gonna

- hold up in court.
- OK, fine.

She also said something
about Alan being involved

in shady dealings,
and that he was only

half the story.

Really? I wonder
what she meant by that.

I don't know. I discovered
something else though

- I wanted to tell you.
- OK.

You have my attention.

Will you put down the pastry?

- Ms. Harper, we're all ears.
- OK.

So I went through
and dug up all the puzzles

we ever published from our
mysterious crossword writer...

Let's just call them
the Phantom.

- OK.
- Also found articles connected

to a string of art heists
over the last couple of years.

Every time, a puzzle appears
in the newspaper,

exactly one week later,
there's an art heist

somewhere in the city.
And there's a pattern.


The location...

is always 1 across.

The point of entry

is always 22 across.

The time of the heist

is always 44 across.
And the item to be stolen

is always 53 across.

It's everything a thief

would need to know in advance.

Look at this one from august.

Take 1 across.
"A matter of degrees"?

The answer is thermometer.
Exactly one week later,

there's a theft at the Mercury
Gallery. And I'm just starting

- to go through these.
-: I have to admit

- it's interesting.
- Yes.

- Apology accepted.
- I wasn't really apologizing.

You saying something
interesting is basically

- the equivalent of a mea culpa.
- OK. What I don't get

is why someone would be using
a crossword puzzle

to put out the word on a heist.
Just seems like a lot of trouble

- to go through, don't you think?
- True, but if you're

speaking to a group of people
through a puzzle

and one person gets caught...

Then you can't implicate
anybody else.

- Exactly.
- Well, it certainly is

a unique way for crooks
to communicate,

but I've seen more efficient
ways for crimes to be

organized anonymously. You got
the Dark Web, burner phones...

Given enough time, you can trace those.
You know that.

But whoever wrote these puzzles,
this Phantom,

they're not taking any chances.

- Mm-hmm.
- This is all the evidence

you have on the murder, right?

- Some of it, why?
- Hmm...

You know, I was just thinking,

puzzles are like a window
into the constructor's mind.

I can look at a puzzle

and, I mean, I can determine
the gender, the age,

the background of the person
just by the clues

in their puzzle. So if we use
these puzzles as profiles,

we can get inside
the constructor's mind

- and figure out who this is.
- You know, Ms. Harper,

you're actually talking about
a little field we like to call

- linguistics for...
- Forensics.

- Yeah.
- I know. It was used to find

the Unabomber.
A person's words

can be as unique
as their fingerprint.

You know, this reminds me
of a case I once had

with a serial killer who used
to leave cryptic notes behind.

But these types
even trip themselves up,

they get careless, even telling
on themselves, you know?

- Why would they do that?
- Well, deep down inside,

they want credit, validation
for their "cleverness."

Right. Oh, excuse me.

Hi, Pierre.

I'm just grabbing

- some treats for the volunteers.
- Tess, we need you

down at the hotel ASAP.
Channel 4 just showed up

to do a news story
on the tournament,

Alright. Um... OK, yes,
I'll be there as soon as I can.

I'm sorry. I have to go.
That's my friend,

and, well, I have to get down
to the crossword championship.

- A crossword championship?!
- Every year.

Puzzlers from all over
the nation come down

to battle to be
the Wiz of Wordplay.

Think of it

as the heavyweight
championship of crosswords.

You know, we accept all levels,
even beginners.

I appreciate that,
but I think I'll stick

to Madison Square Garden.
I'll walk you out.

How about you skip lunch today?


- Nice meeting you.
-: You too.

Is this...
is this the murder weapon?

- Are you always this nosy?
- I asked you first.

We believe it's the
same type of gun based

on the shell casing
we found at the crime scene.

Murderer probably pocketed
the other two shells.

- Why?
- To get rid of evidence.

Some like to keep them
as souvenirs.

Why am I telling you this?

Because maybe deep down,
you sense I can help.

I think you forgot something.

- Oh, uh...
- I think you ate some, Chief.

Hahaha! Detective O'Connor has
a great sense of observation.

Do you always monitor
what the chief eats?

Well, when the chief is your dad

and he's suffering
from high cholesterol, yeah.

Aww... OK, that's adorable.

You guys have this whole
tough guy thing going on.

Hey, you know what?
You might want to stop

because you're gonna give me
a reason to arrest you.

Listen, about this whole
puzzle theory,

I'm not saying
I'm fully convinced,

but keep looking out for
patterns in those puzzles, OK?

Yes, of course.
Last Thursday's puzzle

was written by the Phantom,
so if I'm correct,

there's gonna be
another heist tomorrow

- at the Picasso Gallery.
- Hmm.

Do you want
to be wrong about that?

- Good news.
- Hey.

I found the rope fender
for that climbing rope.

Traced to a military
surplus store in Newark.

- Oh, nice job, man.
- Thank you.

Alright. Check 'em out
in the morning.

Hey, can I interest you
in an apple tart? Thanks.

- Thank you, Tess Harper.
- Haha!

With the crossword
championships coming up,

word on the street is,
don't miss it.

Back to our studio.

And we're out.
Thanks a lot.

: Of course. Thank you.

Harris, hi.

Tess, I gotta talk to you.
I found something!

- OK, what is it?
- I don't want to talk

on the phone. Just get down
to the office. Tess, be careful.

OK, I have a few things
to finish here,

but I'll be there
as soon as I can.

Alright. The news crew
wants to get

some B-roll footage
of all of us together. Come on.

- Come on, everybody in.
- No thanks, we're fine.

We want the whole team, sir.
If you could just

- scoot in...
- We're fine!

Honey. Looks like
we have a case

of low blood sugar.
I better go check on him.

- That was odd.
- Haha! It begins.

Three days from the competition,
tension is clearly in the air.

What do you know
about Elizabeth and Alexander?

Well, they showed up
on the crossword scene

a few months ago. Had me
over for dinner last month.

We share a passion for antiques.

They had quite
an impressive collection.

- What kind of antiques?
- Art, music boxes,

even an antique
armaments collection.

I'd better go check on them,
make sure everything's OK.





Oh, my God!

I need an ambulance.
A man has been shot.

Tess called the paramedics,
but it was too late.

Harris was
a relentless reporter.

Maybe after all those years
on the crime beat,

someone wanted revenge.

He told me he was meeting
someone this afternoon,

but he didn't say who.

Hey. You OK?


I just can't believe he's gone.

I know. Listen,
is there a place

- we can get some fresh air?
- OK.

Harris was always there for me.

I know, he was a good guy.

Listen, I'm sorry, um...

Sorry about not holding it
together back there.

You have nothing
to be sorry about.

I just wish I could
have done something.

He called me earlier,

and he said he needed
to show me something.

He sounded worried.

But Pierre, he needed me
at the tournament.

I was... there,
I was busy, and I...

It's too late.

I wonder what he found.

He had been digging
around the archives

to find information
on Nightingale.

- Mm-hmm.
- He told me to be careful.

Maybe his murder has

some sort of connection
to the gallery case.

Listen, we'll wait and see
what Forensics found out.

Alright? In the meantime,
I want to check out his desk

and his computer and see
what he stumbled on.

I don't know
if it's gonna do any good.

Archives are all pre-digital.

Do you have a safe place
to stay tonight?

I'll stay at my aunt's.


Perfect. Come on.

- I'll drop you off, OK?
- OK.

You told me the Phantom
was a puzzle expert, right

I was thinking

of tagging along with you
to the tournament.

- Is that a question?
- No.

Tess, it's time you start
taking this seriously and start

- taking some precautions.
- He's right, Tess. I don't want

- to hear another word about it.
- All I need

is for you to tell me where you
are and where you're gonna be.

- Just until we find this killer.
- Fine, fine. Of course, yes.

And, Candace, could you
help me with something?

For Alan?
Yes, whatever you need.

Could you invite your friend
Elaine out for lunch?

Yes, but why?

She told me she wanted me
to talk to her lawyer,

but I... I have
something else in mind.

I'll see you in the morning, OK?

- You stay safe.
- Thank you.

Do you notice
a pattern around here?

People are smiling
because they're doing

- something they love.
- Hmm.

You see anybody that might
seem odd to you?

It's a crossword competition,
everyone's a little odd.

Fair enough.
How about suspicious?

Hi. Actually,
speaking of suspicious,

the volunteers Elizabeth
and Alexander to my right...

...they clearly don't like
having their picture taken.

Tess, I'd prefer
something notable.

Oh. They were
at Nightingale's memorial.

OK. It's better,
it's interesting.

Oh, and Pierre said
they actually collect

antique armaments,
like the pistol

that may have been used
in the murder.

Really. Alright, look, I need
a list of all the contestants.

I also need a list
of every single volunteer,

so I can do background checks
on everybody, OK?

OK. Oh, and I heard back
from my aunt. She's having

- tea with Elaine at noon.
- Perfect.

- Here for the list. Pierre?
- Yeah.

- Yeah?
- I want to introduce you

to Detective O'Connor.
Please help him out

with whatever he needs.
I can vouch for him.

Yes, certainly.
What was it you needed?

I'd love a list
of all the people

that will be in the contest,
as well as all the volunteers.

Well, so long
as Tess says it's OK.

Thank you.

So, how is
your investigation going?

Oh, I'm really not at liberty
to discuss the case.

I respect a man
who values discretion.

Here you go.

Thank you very much.

Tess, don't forget.
Tomorrow night's...

The mixer to honour
last year's champions.

Yes, I already made
the reservation.


- Have a good lunch, alright?
- Thank you.

Come on.

Come here.

So, what is it you wanted
to find out from Elaine?

Phone records came back.
Turns out that the afternoon

before the murder,
Nightingale made

one significant phone call,

25-minute one to Elaine.

But she said she hadn't
talked to him in years,

- so she lied.
- Yeah. Not only that. I guess

it was not
a very friendly conversation.

Carmichael said
that Nightingale was shouting.

Wait, thought we were crashing
their tea party. Don't you want

- to talk to Elaine?
- No, no. One thing I've learned

about being around
criminals for years:

the front door is locked,
check the side door.

- How are you doing, pal?
- How are you doing?

Detective O'Connor, NYPD.
I'd like to ask you

a few questions about your boss.
We're investigating

a murder case.

- Let's take a walk, Detective.
- Yeah, I can walk.

I got all day.

I don't want to put my job
at risk, Detective. It'd be

- hard for me to find another one.
- No, I get it,

- you got a tough boss. I get it.
- It's a little more than that.

You gotta have a TLC license
to drive a limo in our state.

I see. So with your reckless
driving conviction,

you don't have a license.
It's not my priority, OK?

Homicide I'm dealing with. Need
you to tell me if you noticed

any bad blood between your boss
and a guy named Nightingale.

Detective, I get paid
not to listen.

I will treat whatever
you tell me in confidence.

- Trust me.
- Elaine brokered a sale

of one of Nightingale's
paintings to some wealthy buyer.

Only problem was painting
turned out to be stolen.

When Elaine found out,
she was furious.

So why didn't she
just go to the cops?

And have her name plastered
all over the papers

as a dupe? That's the last thing
an art broker needs. Right?

What else? What else?

She bragged recently
that she evened the score

- with Nightingale.
- Really? How?

It's all I heard.

You know her whereabouts
this Sunday?

Look at me.
Hey, I'm talking to you.

It's a homicide,
you gotta tell me everything.

Elaine has dinner
every Sunday night

at the same restaurant.
This past Sunday,

she sent me home early,
asked me to babysit Gwendolyn.

- She said she was busy.
- I take it that's Gwendolyn.

She's better than I do.
Don't you, girl?

Yes, you do! Yes, you do!

I gotta go, Detective.
Her majesty awaits,

and she's a stickler
for punctuality.

Listen, that's my card, alright?
Do me a favour,

if anything comes up, if you can
think of anything, you call me.

- Alright?
- OK, I will.

- Good luck, huh?
- Thanks.

Thank you.

- Ah, come on.
- Ha!

So Nightingale
was selling stolen art.

Maybe that's the shady business
his ex-wife was talking about.

Yeah. I subpoenaed
Nightingale's financial records.

It'll be interesting
to see what they turn up.

Are you gonna
be there this evening?

- Be where?
- It's Thursday, remember?

If I'm right, there's gonna be
another heist tonight.

Right. Haha! Another heist.

Um, how can you be so sure?

The clues are
in last week's puzzle.

- It's all right here.
- OK.

"modern art master."

Seven letters, double "s".
It's gotta be Picasso Gallery.

The clue to the time
- "a perfect bowl."

A perfect score in bowling
is a strike,

i.e. 10 pins. 10 p.m.

- Yeah, OK.
- And the clue to the loot:

"nighttime drama." Picasso has
a painting called The Dream.

Tess, I don't know, it just...

I am giving you
tomorrow's headline today.

Or do you want
the headline to be

just another stolen painting?
Or, Detective,

making an arrest and possibly
catching a murderer?

OK. I hear you.
I'll be there.

- Alright.
- Good. Good.

So, are you finally admitting
I'm right about the puzzles?

- No, not exactly, but...
- You don't want to be wrong.

That's exactly right.

Would you just relax?


We're just a couple
having dinner.

- I am... I am very relaxed.
- Mm-hmm.

It's just this is...
this is my first stakeout.

Tess, we're not on a stakeout.

We're safely sitting here
having dinner across the street

a small surveillance team.

They are the ones
that are on a stakeout.

- Why just a small team?
- Because I don't want to be

the guy with egg on my face
if this doesn't work out.

Right. Ahem.

Hi. No thank you.

Oh, cheap date.

Oh, OK. Put a guy
on the spot,

he doesn't buy you
any roses, he's cheap?

That's a simple case
of extortion.

Is everything
a criminal case with you?

Alright, why don't you tell me
if you found any patterns

- in those crosswords.
- I'm thinking of a word,

and it's six letters

and some people
call it the magic word.

Hmm... OK, please.


I've noticed there is a theme

in some of
our Phantom's puzzles,

a nautical theme. Words like
admiralty, spinnaker, keelhaul.

Maybe our Phantom
has a passion for sailing.

Come to think of it, Carmichael
was sailing in Florida.

Right. Elizabeth
and Alexander, we know they're

big on yachting. They went to
Nightingale's memorial service.

They know him well enough
to have been there.

When background checks come
in, we'll see what turns up.

Harris said Nightingale
was from Britain,

and I did notice
a lot of British slang

in some of the puzzles. Words
like gobsmacked and snooker.

You know a lot
about a lot, don't you?

Haha! Well, it's my job
to know a little bit

- about a lot of things.
- You know what they say,

"A little knowledge
can be dangerous."

So how did you get into
this whole puzzle thing anyway?

- My dad got me started.
- Hmmm...

Yeah, every weekend, we'd do
the Sunday crossword together.

Yeah, when I was a kid. Just
one of my greatest memories.

And we'd be sitting at breakfast

and it would be, you know,

"Hey, can you pass
the marmalade?" and

"What's an eight-letter word
for marsupial?"

He must be proud

of his daughter
being the crossword editor

at the world famous
New York Sentinel.

He... he passed away
a couple of years ago.

Look, I'm sorry.

No. He was so happy
that I was doing

something that we both loved.

And whenever I'm having
a hard time with a puzzle

and I feel, you know, stumped,

I feel like he's still there
helping me solve it.

Well, I'm afraid, Tess,

to be the bearer of bad news,
but I think this...

this is a bust. Clue said
Picasso Gallery 10 o'clock,

and it's pushing 10:30.
Unless you made a mistake.

Do you ever arrest
the wrong suspect?

- Yeah, occasionally.
- Hey, we don't have

that leeway with crosswords.
Crosswords are precise.

And I think that's
what I love about them.

You're telling me that
there's always only one answer?

Well, almost always.

There was one notorious puzzle.
It was right before

the 1996 election.
It was ingenious.

There were actually
two equally correct answers

- for the same clue.
- And how is that?

The clue was, "The lead story
in tomorrow's newspaper."

And both "Bob Dole" and
"Clinton" were correct answers.

Oh, that's interesting.

Wait a second.

No, wait a second.
Oh no, no, no, no.

Tess, what...
what's wrong?

I can't believe it.

Just like that famous puzzle,

there are two correct answers.
The clue was

"modern art master,"
seven letters, a double "s"

and the submission said
the right answer was Picasso,

- but that could also be Matisse.
- OK, are you sure?

No, you don't understand.
I've never made

a mistake like this.
I just...

I'm not myself this week
with everything going on and...

Hey, hey, hey,
don't worry about it.

I knew it. Ah, I knew it.

Picasso and Matisse had
a painting called The Dream.

Reynolds, hey, hey.
Listen, I need a car

to the Matisse Gallery
on 12th ASAP. OK, thanks.

- We gotta go.
- OK.

Hang on.

Stay here.

I hate running.

Hey, I just want to talk!


OK! OK! I give up!

I give up, OK? I don't want
to get caught up in anything.

I disabled the alarm system. The
other guy stole the painting.

You want to cooperate
with me? Tell me who

- your accomplice is who ran away.
- I don't know his name!

He's some guy that hired me.
We only met twice before.

He paid me to disable
the alarm system

and to turn off the security
down at the gallery last week,

- make it look like it was broken.
- And he sent you off to Florida

- to keep it broken, I get it.
- Nightingale paid peanuts;

- I'm not gonna say no to 5 grand!
- What does he look like?

I don't... I don't know.

Brown hair, about 5'10", athletic.

Looks kind of grungy

and, oh yeah, he had
chalk on his hands.

- Chalk?
- Yeah.

Drop whatever you're doing.
I need you down here.

You're missing the mixer.

Right. Of course.

- Everything alright?
- Yeah, I just have to get down

- to the tournament.
- Alright, let me

get one of my officers
to drop you off.

- We sell a lot of gear here.
- I know, you're a busy place.

Only supplier of this brand
of rope in the tristate area.

I got a list on my computer
of at least 80 people

who purchased
that rope this year.

Fine. Let's start with
the military purchases then.

We don't categorize
things that way.

Really? What's that sign say?

Why don't you give me
all the customers that paid

full price. Can you do that?

Thank you.

Turns out he was
the only guy on the list

with a criminal record. Traced
him through his parole officer

to a place called
the Elbras Climbing Gym.

That explains the chalk
on his hands.

Got a warrant, checked out his
place and guess what we found?

I found a compartment

behind his Murphy bed.
And in that compartment

was a stolen Matisse.

So, what's the news?

Oh, he's waived his Miranda
rights. He wants to talk.

He confessed to the theft,

but he's insisting
he didn't murder anyone.

See what he has to say, kid, OK?

Alright, it's go time.

Why don't you start by telling
me why you killed Nightingale.

I told you, I don't know
anything about a murder.

See, I think you walked in
on Nightingale and you panicked.

I stole the painting, OK?
Killing somebody? Not a chance.

- Why don't I believe you?
- The gallery was empty

when I broke in. I heard the
siren, I grabbed the picture,

- and I bailed.
- I know what happened.

You walked in there,
you saw him, you panicked,

- and you shot him!
- I didn't shoot anybody!

I was just doing
what I was told.

Who does the telling?

- Come on!
- I don't know. I don't know.

What do you mean,
you don't know?

It's in the newspaper, OK?

- What?
- The Sentinel crosswords.

- All the puzzles?
- No, not all the puzzles.

Just one by a specific author.
It'll tell me the when,

- the where, how of my next job.
- Let me guess.

That author wouldn't be
Abigail Krebbs, would it?

- So you know.
- Well, I know that's an alias.

I was hoping you would tell
me the name behind the alias.

Look, I don't know.
Whoever puts these puzzles

together, they've thought
through every angle.

It's beautiful,
works like a charm.

I mean, they used to, until now.

What happens to the stolen art?

I use a drop-off point.

It's a storage unit in midtown.
Next day, it's gone.

And that is all I know.

OK. Let's say I believe

everything you're saying,
why are two men dead?

I just don't know.

Well... gut says that
Morton's not our murderer.

It's not his MO. His previous
thefts weren't violent.

True. And the break-in
and the murder might have

- occurred at different times.
- Yeah.

And look, obviously we know
he stole the painting, right?

There's no doubt about that,
but I think somebody came back

later and murdered Nightingale.
Explains the two-hour difference

between break-in
and the time of death.

Two different crimes,
two different people?

- Could be.
- And Harris?

He suffered two gunshot wounds.
Ballistics confirmed that the

casings found at the Sentinel
match the ammo at the gallery.

Why would anyone murder Harris?

Maybe something he found
in the archives.

what did he find?

Oh, it's Tess. She wants me
to meet her downtown.

She found another clue
in the puzzle. I gotta go,

- I'll be in touch, OK?
- Please do.

- Ping-pong, huh?
- Be with you in just a moment.

Why exactly do you do this?

Ah, I guess it just helps me
forget the world.

I don't know.
When I'm done, I feel

focused and relaxed.

And I could definitely
use that this week.

Honestly, I just think
it's reassuring

to see a friendly face
across the table.

I still can't believe
Harris is gone.

I know. I get it, OK?

I understand, but look,
we're making progress here.

Morton confessed to me.
He told me he's getting

all of his instructions hidden
inside the crossword puzzles.

- Just like you said.
- OK, finally! Do you know

how frustrating it is to know
you have the right answer

- and not be able to prove it?
- I want you to show me

- what you found.
- Let me get changed,

I'll meet you outside.
Alright, let's do it.

So in last month's puzzle,
look at the first two answers.

- "Corgi, Gwendolyn."
- OK.

Elaine has a corgi
named Gwendolyn.

Don't tell me
that's a coincidence.

Look, I've learned not to use
that word around you, Tess,

but come on. Think Elaine's
this foolish to put in

her own corgi's name into the
crossword puzzle she created?

I don't know,
but didn't your dad say

criminals like this eventually
start telling on themselves?

Yeah. OK, what do we got here?

We got Elaine, who obviously
lied about the phone call.

- Right.
- revenge.

She said she evened the score
with Nightingale, and she still

- doesn't have an alibi.
- Alibi. You know what?

I'm gonna have my aunt
just ask her where she was

- on Sunday night.
- Fine. That's a great idea.

Do you mind retrieving our ball?
Or reclaiming also works.

- Recovery could work.
- You know what also works?

Giving him his ping-pong ball.
It's actually table tennis.

- Table tennis, ping-pong.
- Thank you.

Any updates on the background
checks of the contestants?

- No, still coming.
- Really? Nothing on Elizabeth

- or Alexander?
- No, no, nothing,

but in the meantime,
I have an idea.

Your competition starts
tomorrow afternoon, right?

Yeah. Why?

Do you think
you could create a trap?

Like a trap puzzle
that had all the topics

that only, obviously,
the Phantom would know best -

all things Britain, sailing -

and we send out the puzzle
to the contestants

- and see who does best, right?
- Sure.

I don't want to tamper
with the tournament though.

You know, I could create
a practice round puzzle

- for everyone to do.
- That's perfect.

- Are you OK? Are you sure?
- Yeah, yeah. I'm fine.

Hey, it's Detective O'Connor.
Listen, I got a 10-10 black SUV

heading east on Houston
towards FDR Drive.


Alright, thanks. You OK?
Are you sure?

Yeah, thank you. I'm fine.

Thanks again for the ride.

You're sure you're OK?

I'm just a little shaken up.

Well, I'll make sure I post
a squad car downstairs

to watch you all night.
That way, you'll feel safe

- and you can get some sleep.
- Easier said than done.

I don't know, threats and...

heist, murder;

it's just routine for you?

Are you kidding me? Come on.
Not routine for me.

- Not at all.
- What do you mean?

I wouldn't be doing this job
if it was routine.

But wouldn't that make
the job easier?

I'll tell you this,
any detective that says

his job's easy
isn't doing it right.

What makes you so driven?

Oh, I have my reasons.

Like what?

Like I didn't always want
to be a cop.

Heh. I actually applied
to go to law school.

- Really?
- Yeah.

I was what you'd call
the black sheep of the family.

And I remember one night,

my brother Peter got a call
- it was a robbery -

and during the arrest...

...he got killed.

Logan, I'm so sorry.

No, it's OK. It's what we do.
It's homicide, right?

Every homicide case
has a new name, a new face.

Sometimes, it's your brother.

Sometimes, it's your mom,

your dad, even a friend.

Like Harris.

Every homicide case to me
is personal.

So what do you say we get out
there and find out whoever

- did this and put him away?
- Absolutely.

You scared me.

Oh, I'm sorry.

What are you doing still up?

Can't stop thinking
about Harris.

You know, every morning,
he was there to greet me

with a joke or...

a smile, and...

now it's just an empty desk.

I know what you mean, honey.

All these paintings around me

remind me that Alan's gone,

but they also remind me

of all the times
that he was here.

It is bittersweet.

I just hope we can figure out
who's responsible for all this.

I think what you need

is a little midnight peaches
and ice cream.

Works like a charm
when I can't sleep.

You know, usually
when I can't solve a puzzle,

it's just frustrating, but...

not solving this puzzle
could mean life or death.

When you were little,
and you'd come visit me

in the summers,

you used to wake me up
at 5 a.m.

to see who could race down
to get the Sunday paper and try

and figure out the answers
to the word scramble.

Oh, I wish I had
the answers now.

You'll figure them out.

You always do, honey.

Tell me you didn't stay
out here all night.

Hey, come on, I can sleep
in a car. Come on, hop in.

- It's very sweet.
- All I need is

a feathered pillow
and talk radio, and I'm good.

So listen, I've got some news.

Harris' fitness tracker
was GPS enabled

which means our techs will
probably be able to find out

who he visited
the day he was murdered.

The background checks came in
on Alexander and Elizabeth.

- And?
- And nothing.

Can't find anything
on these two.

Not even a library card.

I mean, no last known address,
no social footprints, nothing.

It's like these two people
are like a ghost.

- This is so strange.
- Tell me about it.

But anyway, I was talking
to my dad. He's gonna talk

to a contact at the FBI.
We'll try to get more information.

In the meantime, you and I

have a puzzle competition
to go to. You ready?

- Ready.
- Alright. Let's roll.

You've done well, Tess.
I can't believe we've actually

- made it to the big day.
- Thank you for believing in me.

And I am so sorry
I had to keep ducking out.

All's well that ends well.

Here's the extra copies
of the puzzles if you need them.

Great. Thank you
so much, Jos.

May I talk to you for a second?


Did you do that practice round
puzzle for me?

Yeah, I wrote it up last night.

Excellent. Let's get it out
to these contestants

- and see who does best, shall we?
- Mm-hmm.

Good afternoon, everyone,
and welcome to the 17th Annual

National Crossword
Puzzling Championship.

Now, before we kick off
our main competition, we have

a special practice-round puzzle
just to wake up those neurones.

So, without further ado,

you may now turn over
your puzzles.

Alright, we've reached
our time limit.

And the answer for 52 down,

"Queen's truck," is lorry.

Alright, that completes
our practice round.

Enjoy your break
and we'll start round one.

So how did Alexander

and Elizabeth do
on our test puzzle?

Not well, judging from
the looks on their faces.

Listen, I've got news.

I just got a phone call
from Elaine's driver.

Told me he showed up
to work this morning

and Elaine's black SUV's
front fender was damaged.

Now, he obviously
doesn't want to get

blamed for a hit and run,
so he calls me.

I have my guys go over there.

Her license plate matches
first three numbers.

So it was Elaine who tried
to run us down last night?

Well, we'll see. I've got
some uniforms over there

right now checking
the damage on the SUV.

I just hope we're able
to breathe easy soon.

I know, I know. Trust me.
Listen, I've got one more lead

I've got to follow.
Harris' tracker puts him

at Veronica's bakery
the afternoon of the murder.

So I gotta go talk to her,
she's hiding something.

I gotta go, I'll be right back.
You be safe, OK?

Pretty tough
for a practice round puzzle.

A lot of sailing clues,
thank goodness,

but that clue about
some obscure British tea?

Lapsang souchong tea?

Pierre, you got
an almost perfect score.

Oh, I did use to run
this tournament.

Tess, we're starting now.

It looks like there's stragglers
who still need puzzles.

Oh, I'll take care of it.


- OK, there you go.
- Good luck.

Jos, how did this page
get in with the puzzles?

Oh, it must have got
mixed into my copies.

Maybe someone left
their pages on the copier.

- Sorry.
- Do you remember

- who used the copier before you?
- It was actually Harris.

Who does that man look like
to you on the right?

Uh, it's hard to tell
on the photocopy.

- Why?
- Tess, we're starting.

Time for your speech.

You know, crosswords appeal
to that human instinct

to figure things out,

to make sense of the world,

to create order from chaos.

I'm trying to close up here.

I can assure you I never met
with any reporter.

I know for a fact that Harris
was down here the afternoon

of his murder because
his fitness tracker had him

right here talking to you
at 4:10 p.m. And you weren't

back there baking
pies now, were you?


I wasn't.
I was staying in a hotel.

That's better. Why?

Because my home's not safe.

Crosswords challenge us
to see the answers...

even when the puzzle makers

place distractions in our path.

You don't know
who you're dealing with here.

I don't understand you.
I don't know why you don't want

to help me. You know we have two
people out there that are dead?

And I don't want there
to be a third.

You're worried about someone
harming you? We can protect you.

Like you protected
that reporter?

You may now turn over
your puzzles.

- He wanted me to keep quiet.
- Who?

Come on! Help me out here, Veronica.
Tell me something!

Now, you could be the whole
reason why someone stays alive.

Harris did come in here
to see me.


He wanted me
to confirm something.

A secret from the past.

You have reached Detective
O'Connor. Leave a message.

And time's up.

Take a 15-minute break,
and we'll start the next round.


Sorry, your, um...

Someone had tipped over
your bag, so just wanted

- to get it off the floor.
- Oh, thank you.

Tess, are you alright?
You seem

- out of sorts.
- No, no, I'm good.

I'm fine, I'm fine. I just, um...
Feel excited. You know,

all the excitement of running
my first tournament.

Ah. Well...

I should get that. Um...

- Hi.
- Jos, can you look over

everything? I'll be back
in just two minutes.

Uh, but I am...

one important name off
- himself.

Logan, listen.

I found two bullet shells
in Pierre's bag.

- Shell casings, are you sure?
- Yes, and they look just like

the ones you showed me in the
evidence photo in your office.

I also came across the article

that Harris stumbled on.

- Pierre is Nightingale's brother.
- Yeah, he was presumed dead.

- And what did she say?
- She said that Pierre is not

his real name. His real name is
Chesley Nightingale. He was born

in Britain, and he's got
a felony conviction for theft.

So, Pierre is
the silent partner?

Exactly. Now, listen.
I've called for backup.

I need you to stay safe, I'll be
AÀthere in a few minutes, OK?



I'm sorry, Tess,

but you'll have
to stay back here

- where no one can see us.
- Listen, this is... this is...

- this is some sort of mistake.
- I tried to protect you.

- What do you mean?
- Calling you down

for the press interviews,
trying to distract you.

And the... the near miss
with Elaine's SUV?

I stole her car then put
it back a few hours later

to scare you off.

"Curiosity killed the chat"?

If only you'd taken the hint.

So you were the one

who planted the clues
about Elaine in the puzzle?

Small insurance policy
in case anyone figured out

the hidden clues
in the crosswords.

And you got pretty close.


Why steal
from your own galleries?

We could collect
the insurance money and sell

- the paintings overseas.
- But Alan sold

that stolen piece to Elaine and
got caught, so you killed him.

Alan was deep in debt
from his divorce,

willing to do anything
for money. His incompetence

was threatening
to drag me down too.

And you killed Harris
because he stumbled

on that article that revealed
your real identity.

Right again.

- Josephine, where's Tess?
- Last time, she was talking

- to Pierre near the stairwell.
- Show me the stairwell, go.

- You don't have to do this.
- But I can't go back to prison.

Killing me accomplishes nothing.

The police are on the way.

Think about what
you're doing, Pierre.


I have to know one thing.

How did you decide
to use the crosswords?

In prison,
it was the perfect way

to get out coded messages.

I'm truly sorry, Tess.


Ah! Ugh! Ah!

Are you OK?


Come on. Here.
Read him his rights, OK?


Tess, I am truly sorry.

I didn't want you
involved in all this.

Hey, are you alright?

Yeah. Yeah,
what took you so long?

I was running out of questions.

Really? You?

OK, come here.
Let's get out of here.

Do you know what I can't
still figure out?

Alexander and Elizabeth.

There's no record of them.

I just got a call back
from my buddy at the FBI.

- Witness protection?
- That's right.

Oh, Dad, I should
have known that, come on.

But that'll explain
their mysterious past

and the fact they're camera shy.
They just wanted a low profile.

So why did they come
to the memorial?

They were unloading a lot
of their antique collection

to Nightingale
when he was murdered.

They went to the memorial
seeking potential buyers.


30 years ago, a few years after
they'd moved to New York,

Pierre and Alan,
silent partners.

You know Harris recognized
Pierre in this photo?

That's why he went to Veronica,
to get more info.

And what about Elaine?

Uh, we actually just got
Nightingale's financial records.

Turns out he wrote a cheque
to Elaine last week

for 200k to make up for selling
her that stolen painting.

So that's what Elaine must've
meant about "evening the score."

Mm-hmm, exactly.
Yeah, and her lawyer confirmed.

He said it was
private arbitration.

And what about her alibi
the night of the murder?

Hey. How are you?

It turns out she was
at a surprise birthday party

for her sister,
which is information

courtesy of your aunt.

So who was the murderer?


he was a friend

or, uh... someone
who I thought was a friend.

Oh, honey, I'm sorry.


I'm fine.

Well, I'll give
you two a minute.

Sorry. Listen, thank you
so much for giving

my aunt, you know,
some peace of mind, and...

...thank you so much for finding
some justice for Harris.

I couldn't have
done it without you.

I think I was wrong about you.



you're a Saturday puzzle.

Really? How is that?

Oh, you are sometimes
so exasperating,

- but you...
- True.'re the smartest one
of the week.

Well, that is some
high praise coming from you.

Well, I'm pretty sure you have

some cases to solve, so...

I'm sure you have

puzzles to write.

Listen, um...

thanks for interfering.

Always happy to help.

- OK.
- Alright.

- Yeah.
- I'll see you.