NY Times changes Wordle answer from fetus ‘to remain distinct from the news’

CNA Staff   By CNA Staff


null / Tada Images/Shutterstock.

Denver Newsroom, May 9, 2022 / 15:01 pm (CNA).

The New York Times has changed the answer to its daily Wordle word game, avoiding ‘fetus’, lest it be viewed as related to current events linked to Roe v. Wade.

“At New York Times Games, we take our role seriously as a place to entertain and escape, and we want Wordle to remain distinct from the news,” read a May 9 statement at the New York Times.

It said that today “some users may see an outdated answer that seems closely connected to a major recent news event. This is entirely unintentional and a coincidence — today’s original answer was loaded into Wordle last year.”

“Because of the current Wordle technology, it can be difficult to change words that have already been loaded into the game. When we discovered last week that this particular word would be featured today, we switched it for as many solvers as possible,” the paper stated.

A draft opinion in the Supreme Court case Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, which would overturn Roe v. Wade, was leaked May 2.

The New York Times added that users who had refreshed their browser window would not receive the original version of the day’s game, “But we know that some people won’t do that and, as a result, will be asked to solve the outdated puzzle.”

“We want to emphasize that this is a very unusual circumstance. When we acquired Wordle in January, it had been built for a relatively small group of users. We’re now busy revamping Wordle’s technology so that everyone always receives the same word.”

Wordle was released in October 2021, and was purchased by the Times earlier this year.

The object of the game is to guess a five-letter word in as many as six attempts, with feedback given after each attempt. It was popularized by players sharing their results on Twitter.

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