Wordle players across the globe were left baffled after a “major recent news event” prompted the people behind the game to change today’s word.
Spoiler alert: This story contains the answer to today’s edition of Wordle.
A number of people expressed a mixture of confusion and annoyance after sharing their result with friends on Monday, only to learn there appeared to be two different answers.
Many who played the daily puzzle were set the word “fetus” – the American English spelling of foetus.
However, for others who loaded the game – which is reset every 24 hours at midnight – the word posed was “shine”.
Many learned of the discrepancy after using the “share” option on the online puzzle – a feature credited with the game’s huge success – and discovering friends had not been set the same word.
The New York Times, which acquired the rights to the game in January for an “undisclosed price in the low seven figures” in January after its explosion, said the change was the result of “a very unusual circumstance”.
A statement issued by the newspaper said it was still discovering “new challenges” as it switched to “The Times’s technology”.
“Today, for example, some users may see an outdated answer that seems closely connected to a major recent news event. This is entirely unintentional and a coincidence – today’s original answer was loaded into Wordle last year,” it said.
“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.
“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.”
A number of people who received the original word had pointed out the link with the recent news around the US Supreme Court, which last week ordered an investigation into the leak of a draft document suggesting a historic law that legalised abortion could be overturned.
The New York Times statement said that anyone who refreshed their browser window would not receive “the outdated version” but that “we know that some people won’t do that and, as a result, will be asked to solve the outdated puzzle”.
“We want to emphasise that this is a very unusual circumstance,” the statement added.