Why are there two Wordle answers? Is today’s UK answer fetus or shine - why New York Times altered game 324

One of the effects of Wordle’s NYT takeover seems to be making itself clear, with players reportedly getting differing solutions

The answer to Monday's (9 May) Wordle has been altered in light of “a major recent news event”.

"Fetus" - the American spelling of "foetus" – is "outdated," according to the New York Times, which bought the game for at least one million dollars earlier this year.

It updated the answer to "shine" for "as many solvers as possible," but some players can still see the original solution. So why is this?

But one of the key components of Wordle’s success is its universality.

Unlike other puzzles, like crosswords that differ greatly across publications for instance, everybody around the world is served up the exact same five-letter word teaser each day.

That means that a sort of unspoken and healthy competition can develop between everyone, with fans comparing their results and workings out, and bragging that, actually, “I got it in only three attempts.”

Advertisement

So why has that changed for 9 May?

Here is everything you need to know.

Why are the solutions different?

Initially, the issue of dual Wordle solutions came as a result of the game’s sale to the New York Times - for a tasty fee in the “low seven figures”, no less.

The obvious fear was that NYT would stick the otherwise free-to-play Wordle behind a paywall, like it has done with many of the other popular games it hosts on its website.

What is today's Wordle answer? Here is Wordle's 242 5 letter word for February 16 - and what does it mean?

Advertisement

While Wordle is still free (though NYT dangled worrying semantics about how the game will only “initially” remaining free), other confirmed changes were made.

This is despite New York Times communications director Jordan Cohen telling The Guardian that “nothing has changed about the game play”, a statement we now know to be false.

NYT altered a number of the game’s upcoming solutions, meaning that some players may see one word as that day’s answer, while others might see something different altogether.

This was confirmed on 15 February, when some players saw the game’s original and expected solution of “agora”, while others saw “aroma”.

This is because NYT opted to skip over that day’s initial answer.

The reason why is unclear, but it essentially meant that the NYT’s version - the one we have to consider to be the “proper”, though it might irk Wordle purists - became a day out of step with the “original”.

Advertisement

The original game was still available if you had never refreshed the PowerLanguage tab in your browser, but if you wanted to get your answers back on track with those of the general population, you had to refresh that tab, or go back to playing online.

So why are some players still getting different answers on 9 May?

Why are there two Wordle answers on 9 May?

The answer to Monday 9 May’s Wordle was been altered in light of reports that the US Supreme Court may abolish the legal right of Americans to an abortion.

The New York Times said in a statement: “Some users may see an outdated answer that seems closely connected to a major recent news event.

Advertisement

“This is entirely unintentional and a coincidence – today’s original answer was loaded into Wordle last year. 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.”

It comes after a Supreme Court opinion was leaked that will overturn the famous Roe v Wade case, effectively ending abortion rights in the United States that have been guaranteed since the 1970s.

If the proposal is finalised, abortion bans are projected to be enacted in about half of the 50 states.

What other words has the NYT changed?

The NYT has removed some of the more ‘objectionable’ words that could count as valid guesses, as well as some of the more eyebrow raising future solutions.

Advertisement

While these words were never likely to appear as answers - a light moderation process in the creation of the game likely saw to that - things like “pussy” and “whore” could still be input as guesses.

But words that have reportedly been struck from the list of upcoming answers include “pupal,” “slave,” and “wench.”

Hey, if you want rude words and smut, try Lewdle.