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New York Times removed 'fetus' as Wordle answer, but you may have still got it

The publisher put out a statement explaining that Monday's original 5-letter answer was "entirely unintentional and a coincidence."
Credit: 10 Tampa Bay

TAMPA, Fla. — The New York Times has decided to replace "fetus" as Monday's Wordle solution in an effort to separate itself from recent events surrounding abortion rights in the U.S.

Without naming the word itself, the publisher put out a statement explaining that today's original 5-letter answer was "entirely unintentional and a coincidence." In fact, the New York Times says it was loaded into Wordle last year — before the newspaper even acquired the game.

The issue is, however, that some users who play the daily game in the same browser will still be given the eliminated word to solve.

Credit: 10 Tampa Bay

"...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.

You won’t receive the outdated version if you have refreshed your browser window. But we know that some people won’t do that and, as a result, will be asked to solve the outdated puzzle," the statement read in part.

The New York Times emphasizes that Wordle is meant to "entertain and escape" and "remain distinct from the news."

Last week, the Supreme Court confirmed the authenticity of a leaked draft opinion written by Justice Samuel Alito that would strike down the landmark Roe v. Wade decision, a move that would jeopardize abortion rights across the country. The news sent shockwaves throughout the U.S. and sparked a nationwide debate over reproductive rights.

You can read the New York Times' full statement below.

It’s been just over three months since The New York Times acquired Wordle, the hugely popular puzzle created by Josh Wardle. Wordle continues to delight millions of people every day, but as we move it over to The Times’s technology, we have continued to discover challenges.

Today, for example, some users may see an outdated answer that seems closely connected to a major recent news event.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.

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.

But 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.

You won’t receive the outdated version if you have refreshed your browser window. 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. We are committed to ensuring that tens of millions of people have a gratifying and consistent experience, every day.

Thank you for your patience while we work on making improvements to Wordle. We wouldn’t be here without our amazing community of solvers.