Wordle Response Changed to Avoid Heavy Words, Says NY Times – Smithers Interior News


The New York Times rushed to edit Monday’s response to its daily Wordle riddle lest it be seen as some kind of commentary on the abortion rights debate.

The game, which caused a stir late last year and was bought by The Times in January, gives users six attempts to guess a different five-letter word each day.

Yet The Times flew into a rage when it discovered that Monday’s word, which had been typed into Wordle’s computer program last year, was “fetus”.

The timing was particularly difficult given last week’s leaked report of a proposed US Supreme Court ruling that would overturn a 50-year-old ruling governing women’s ability to have abortions.

The appearance of the “fetus” was “entirely unintentional and coincidental”, the newspaper said in a message to readers on Monday.

“At The New York Times Games, we take our role as a place of entertainment and escape seriously, and we want Wordle to remain distinct from the news,” the post reads.

The Times changed Monday’s response to a different word, and a spokesperson said a “vast majority” of users had seen it. But some people who hadn’t refreshed their browser saw “fetus” instead, spokesman Jordan Cohen said.

He wouldn’t say whether The Times had received any complaints about the “fetus.”

Wordle was invented by Josh Wardle, a software engineer from Brooklyn, as a gift for his partner and took off when he started publishing it online. Players guess words and focus on the correct answer as the game tells them if their guesses contain any letters in the word of the day.

The Times bought his invention for more than $1 million and is revamping the technology to ensure every user sees the same word every day, the newspaper said. Cohen said millions of people play Wordle every day.


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