It seemed like a normal Saturday morning. A cup of coffee waiting, a Washington Post crossword puzzle to work on. But as Marlowe Epstein sat down to help her boyfriend, Corey Newman, with some of the clues, something seemed different.
The clue for 39 Across: “‘Casablanca’ screenwriter Julius or Philip.” The answer: Epstein. Then 37 Across: “‘Shakespeare in Love’ role.” The answer: Marlowe.
“Am I losing my mind?” she can be heard asking aloud on a hidden video camera recording by the Washington Post.
Then there was 51 Across: “Words with a certain ring to them.”
“Will you marry me?” she can be heard saying on the video. That’s when Newman pulled out a ring, got down on one knee and asked that very question. Epstein said yes, followed quickly by, “How the hell did you do that?”
It’s a plan Newman had been working on for months.
“I wanted to do something unique,” Newman told the Washington Post.
The idea fell into his lap one day as he watched Epstein work on a crossword puzzle. He decided to contact the Washington Post, whose editors put him in touch with crossword creator Bob Klahn.
Klahn took several days to put together the puzzle, making it as relevant to Epstein as possible. He included answers such as “Aiken,” her home town in South Carolina, and “Corey,” the name of her boyfriend, along with answers like “Pop the question” and “Lace.”
“I was blown away,” Epstein told the Post. “I was so impressed that he managed to pull that off.”
But check out the hours leading up to the proposal in the Washington Post video, and you’ll notice Newman seemed worried that everything would fall into place. Newman raced around Old Town Alexandria Saturday morning looking for an early edition of the Sunday Post, to find that none of the shops had received them yet.
So, as any desperate man in love would do, he “borrowed” one from the front of an office building, vowing to “come by on Monday with a couple dollars for it.” As they say, the rest is history.
“I’m just amazed,” Epstein told the Post. “I did not see it coming at all.”
And as Newman told the paper, that was exactly the idea.
“I’ve been telling her forever that she was special,” Newman told the Post. “And I wanted to do something so she would know that I meant it.”