If you’ve somehow avoided the word-guessing phenomenon of Wordle over the past few months, the game gives players a new word to guess letter by letter each day, and the daily word has been loaded through a database since it was acquired by the New York Times back in January. But since it’s not being picked by a human being every day, that can lead to some points where the word of the day feels tone deaf in the face of current events. Such an example is the word originally chosen for May 9, 2022: fetus.
The New York Times addressed the word’s usage as Worldle’s daily puzzle through a post on its website, but did notably stop short of actually saying “fetus” or referencing the fact that a leaked draft majority opinion that has been circulating in the Supreme Court attempting to overrule Roe v. Wade, which protects the rights of those seeking an abortion in the United States. Instead, it says the word chosen for today was “an outdated answer that seems closely connected to a major news event.” But the post does say the word’s connection to recent events was “unintentional and a coincidence,” as the term was already loaded into the game’s system, and while anyone who refreshes their browser history will get the updated word of the day, anyone who hasn’t will still be asked to solve for “fetus.”
“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,” New York Times Games Editorial Director Everdeen Mason writes. “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.”
If you came here looking for hints on what the actual word of the day ended up being, we have a guide ready for that right here.
In other news:
Since the leak of the Supreme Court opinion last week, the video game industry has slowly started to show support for those affected, which started with Bungie coming out in support of abortion rights and then pushing back against idiots online who told the Destiny developer to “stick to games.” Bungie’s statement opened the floodgates for more developers to come forward in support of people’s right to choose, such as Psychonauts developer Double Fine and ArenaNet, the team behind the Guild Wars series. Not that any of it’s been without pushback from pro-birthers. ArenaNet’s post has plenty of hidden replies from people making bad faith arguments. So uh, look at that at your own risk. Or don’t. I’ll just tell you now, for your own mental health, don’t.