New York Times drops ‘fetus’ as an answer to Wordle – but not for all players

The move appears to be in response to the supreme court’s draft Roe v Wade ruling

The New York Times has removed the word “fetus” from its Wordle answers to keep the game “distinct from the news”, a move apparently related to last week’s leaked Roe v Wade supreme court draft ruling.

The change caused confusion as it was only implemented for some of the game’s players.

“Today, some users may see an outdated answer for Wordle that seems closely connected to a major recent news event.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,” the New York Times said in a statement.

The game’s answer-list is pre-written and assigned to a date.

“When we discovered last week that this particular word would be featured today, we switched it for as many solvers as possible,” the newspaper said.

The Times acquired Wordle earlier this year after it became a viral hit.

The switch away from the word appears to be a move by the Times to avoid using a politically-charged term. Last week's leaked supreme court draft majority opinion supported overturning the landmark Roe v Wade decision, putting in jeopardy rights to abortion across the United States and sparking a bitter national debate.

“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,” the Times said.

It’s not the first time Wordle has offered up different solutions. In March, baffled users tweeted their confusion over two correct Wordle answers. In that instance, the solution could be either “harry” or “stove”. In that case the Times confirmed the answer had been changed as it removed potentially obscure or insensitive words “in an effort to make the puzzle more accessible”.

When the Times acquired Wordle it also removed words such as “lynch,” “slave” and “wench”. – Guardian

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