Today's Wordle answer was originally 'fetus,' and the NYT insists it was a coincidence

The outlet says it tried to change the answer for as many players as possible.

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Wordle, a website-only word game played on mobile phones and tablets, is displayed in this picture illustration taken February 1, 2022. REUTERS/Andrew Boyers/Illustration
Andrew Boyers / reuters

The New York Times has apologized after Monday’s Wordle included a solution for some players that may have been offensive due to its connection to recent political events in the US. Some Wordle players woke up today to find out the solution to the daily puzzle was “fetus,” a selection The New York Times said was “entirely unintentional and a coincidence,” in a note the outlet’s Games team published at 12:01AM. 

According to The Times, the word was loaded into the game “last year,” meaning its selection predates both the company’s purchase of Wordle and the May 2nd leak of a draft decision by the US Supreme Court to overturn Roe v. Wade. When The Times Games team discovered last week that Monday’s puzzle would feature the word fetus, it said it did its best to alter the answer for “as many solvers as possible.” However, due to the way Wordle loads data, those who keep the game running in a tab that they never refresh still saw the old selection. The Times said it hopes to avoid a similar situation occurring in the future.

“We’re now busy revamping Wordle’s technology so that everyone always receives the same word,” the outlet said. “We are committed to ensuring that tens of millions of people have a gratifying and consistent experience, every day.” The Games team added that it wants Wordle “to remain distinct from the news,” a stance that has drawn criticism from some players.

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