A shot of Wordle on mobile

Latest News

New York Times Trying To Pull Wordle Answer Due To Potential Controversy

May 9, 2022

By: Joseph Allen

 
 

The New York Times is trying to pull today's Wordle answer over fears it could be interpreted as a reference to current events. Specifically, the answer could be seen as related to the Supreme Court's potential intent to overturn the landmark 1973 Roe v. Wade case.

What is the Wordle answer the New York Times is trying to pull?

We're about to spoil one of two potential Wordle answers for today, so make sure you don't read this article if you don't want to know what it is. The intended Wordle solution for today is, or was, "fetus", an answer that the New York Times says was loaded into the app last year. However, given recent developments involving a leaked Supreme Court document, that answer was deemed inappropriate, as it could be seen as related to current events. As such, the New York Times has replaced the word with a new one, but if you haven't refreshed your browser window since the replacement was added, you might still get the original word.

 

Wordle, a word game owned by the New York Times
Today's Wordle answer was changed in order to avoid references to current events. You might still have the old word, though.

Specifically, the word "fetus", as the New York Times points out, "seems closely connected" to a leaked US Supreme Court document that indicates the Supreme Court could be about to overturn 1973's historic Roe v. Wade case, which was the catalyst for legalized abortion. If the case is overturned, then states could (and likely will, in many cases) choose to ban abortion. As you can imagine, this is a highly contentious and controversial issue, so it stands to reason the New York Times wouldn't want to lead anyone to believe that it intentionally used today's solution to refer to current events. The Times says this is "a very unusual circumstance", and that work is currently underway to revamp Wordle's structure in order to ensure "everyone always receives the same word".

What is Wordle?

Wordle is a simple online word game created by software engineer Josh Wardle (who's also one of the masterminds behind Reddit's The Button experiment). The game was originally independent before it was snapped up by the New York Times in January this year. The appeal of the game lies in its simplicity and purity; you have six guesses to figure out what today's word is, and if you fail, that's it for today. You also won't find any experience point-style systems or in-line ads, and this lack of modern casual game trappings is also a huge part of Wordle's popularity. So far, the New York Times has pledged to keep Wordle free, but many enthusiasts have predicted it won't remain that way forever, launching their own free versions in response (which the New York Times has been known to quash).Some of those may still be using the original word for today, and not the Times updated one.

 
 
The Minecraft Wordle mod created by Redditor urgle_gurgle
Wordle's popularity has led to several imitators, like this rather neat Minecraft mod.

The popularity of Wordle has also led to the game spreading to other media and being analyzed extensively. Notably, a Minecraft player created a fully functioning version of the game within vanilla Minecraft, and mathematicians have attempted to deduce what the best first guess would be in mathematical terms. While the Wordle craze has arguably died down somewhat from its peak a few months ago, there are still lots of people playing the game, and you can join them right now by heading over to the New York Times website.