(NEXSTAR) – When some players opened up Wordle on Monday morning and started guessing five-letter words, they were surprised to find the correct answer was a timely term at the center of much political debate at the moment.
That wasn’t what the New York Times intended to happen. The newspaper bought the word game early this year, and said since then, has “continued to discover challenges.”
“Today, for example, some users may see an outdated answer that seems closely connected to a major recent news event,” the New York Times said in a statement Monday.
The word in question was “fetus.” Despite abortion rights being in the news nonstop over the past week, as the Supreme Court considers overturning Roe v. Wade, the Times said the word choice was loaded into the game last year. The word appearing this week “is entirely unintentional and a coincidence,” the Times said.
When the New York Times Games team saw last week that “fetus” was lined up for Monday’s puzzle, they tried to swap it out for as many players as possible. Purging it completely was difficult “because of the current Wordle technology,” the company said.
The Times said it’s working on the game’s technology to avoid similar problems in the future.
“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.
Any player who has refreshed their browser window won’t get the old puzzle, the Times said, but some users who hadn’t refreshed did end up being prompted to solve for the word “fetus.”
We won’t spoil what the alternate solution is for Monday’s puzzle, but it’s far less controversial.