Wordle’s acquisition by The New York Times has already sparked controversy, from broken stripes to accusations the game has gotten tougher. But here is a big change the NYT don’t shout about it: it changed Wordle’s solutions. As of today, February 15 (game number 241), the New York Times version of Wordle and the original version hosted on powerlanguage.co.uk/wordle have split up and will now be forever out of sync.
Wordle Glossary Changes by the NYT were noted last week by a number of sources, including: Boing Boing† Although some thought these changes only applied to the words you could Guessit turns out the Time also changed the list of possible solutions† †The edge made this mistake too – we regret the mistake.) This confusion was not helped by the fact that the Time himself walked around and told publications that everything was the same in Wordle land. if NYT comms director Jordan Cohen said: the guard: “Nothing has changed in the gameplay.” Which is really not true!
Sure, the game plays the same, but the Time Not only did it remove rude words like “pussy” and “whore” from possible guesses, it also changed the game’s future solutions. And especially for a word-guessing game, this counts as a change in gameplay.
Warning: Spoilers for the non-NYT version of Wordle to follow†
if Boing Boing notes, words removed from guesses and solutions include “fiber,” “pop,” “slave,” and “wench.” You can find a list of the original Wordle solutions here and compare that to NYTamended list by following these instructions here. A word of warning: clicking on these links will spoil future solutions for you if you scroll too far ahead, so I’ll spare you the danger and just say that the Time skipped today’s original solution (#241) of “agora” and moved it to the next day’s (#242), that is [cough-cough-mumble-mumble]†
Does all this matter? Well, a little! Because if you’re still playing the original version of Wordle – either because you downloaded the game or because you haven’t refreshed your browser since loading the original powerlanguage.co.uk/wordle URL – you’re out of step with other players . And since much of the game’s fun is social, based on sharing those little emoji solutions, it can be frustrating, as evidenced by the tweets below:
Warning! Wordle discrepancy I still play on the powerlanguage site, because I didn’t know there was a new NYT URL, and today the solution was different (for the first time). When I go to the NYT site, my history isn’t there. I had a continuous streak halp of 37 games!
— Jenniiffffeeerrrrrr Malec (@projectjennifer) February 15, 2022
So #Wordl is now split into two versions. I saw another solution for the one hosted on @New York times and the one hosted on the original site. This is nonsense. fwiw I’m doing the original which I still have cached in an open browser tab. https://t.co/kziPXJ0TQJ
— Chris Kendall (@ottocrat) February 15, 2022
did anyone on wordle notice two different answers for today (241)? Corey and I ended up with different words
— meg (@megisabella_) February 14, 2022
Aside from these frustrations, some may argue that the Time is overly sensitive in the words it has been removed: disabling ‘slave’, ‘lynch’ and ‘wench’. Other takedowns seem more focused on keeping the game accessible: dropping the British spelling of ‘fibre’ and removing ‘pupal’, presumably because it’s too close to ‘pupil’.
In response to a reader who asked about the changes, the Time said it had changed the glossary to “remove unclear words to keep the puzzle accessible to more people, as well as insensitive or offensive words.” And while it’s certainly true that part of Wordle’s charm is its accessibility, I’d say that a beautiful, assonant word like “agora” — instantly reminiscent of a bustling outdoor meeting room — didn’t deserve the chop.
Let’s hope the Time no longer interferes.