New York Times Apologizes After Wordle of the Day Is ‘Fetus’


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Photo: Fernando Gutierrez-Juarez/picture-alliance/dpa (AP)

Emotions are running high around the word “fetus” after last week’s news about the possible end to Roe V. Wade and women’s right to safe abortion.

F-E-T-U-S is also a five-letter word, so some people were more than a little surprised when it ended up as one of the answers to Monday’s Wordle.

The realization of the more-than-timely puzzle answer led to a midnight panic as the New York Times rushed to change the answer on the platform. Any browser that refreshes the Worlde page should receive the day’s updated puzzle. Those who don’t will still potentially have “Fetus” as one of the two potential answers for the day’s puzzle.

In a statement, the Times wrote “this is a very unusual circumstance,” adding “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.”

The gray lady bought the Wordle app in January from its creator Josh Wardle for a reported sum of over $1 million. The decision has been a boon for the times, according to their quarterly report for the beginning of this year, as it brought “tens of millions of new users to the times.” Of course, the app was then filled up with ad trackers for both the Times and outside companies, as any web-based company wants to do with anything even remotely popular.

The Times blamed the current Wordle technology for why they couldn’t change the answer on all user’s ends. The answers to today’s and every other day’s puzzle were set by the program’s creator before The New York Times purchased it.

The Times wants Wordle to remain “a place to entertain and escape… distinct from the news.” Though such a kerfuffle might be a good reminder just why the right to a safe abortion is so important to many. Of course, there are a few other, more interesting Wordle alternatives to test users’ brains while doing their morning toilet.

And if you still have “Fetus” on the brain after muddling through this morning’s puzzle, then you may want to look into Gizmodo’s report of online abortion resources for people trying to avoid both government’s and company’s efforts to track you.



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