Wordle players were left baffled on Tuesday after an apparent problem resulted in two different solutions depending on which site they were using.
The online game is currently being migrated from its original creator’s site to the New York Times (NYT) site, following its purchase at the end of January.
Previously, to play the game, people had to go to powerlanguage.co.uk/wordle, but most people entering this URL now find themselves redirected to the NYT website.
However, some people are still able to play the game on the original website – an error that means there are two correct answers for Tuesday’s game.
Tuesday’s original answer was deemed “too obscure” by the NYT and was therefore replaced with another word with a somewhat similar letter arrangement on its site.
However, the original website still contains the initial word “obscure”, leading to some confusion among friends when sharing their results.
Wordle, which only offers one puzzle a day to keep fans hooked, has amassed millions of players since going live last October.
Wordle was acquired for an undisclosed seven-figure sum at the end of January and began its transition to The New York Times website in early February.
WHAT IS WORDLE?
Wordle is deceptively simple; you have six chances to guess a five-letter word.
After each guess, each letter will turn green, yellow, or gray, meaning:
Green: correct letter, correct place
Yellow: correct letter, wrong place
Grey: wrong letter
You can then use these clues for your next guess.
Try the game here
It was created by Welsh-born software engineer Josh Wardle for his girlfriend Palak Shah, who loves puns.
In early November, the simple game – which involves guessing a five-letter word in six tries – had just 90 players; now it is said that there are 3 million.
Due to its success, Wardle sold his creation to the NYT in late January for an undisclosed seven-figure sum, and the transition to the NYT website began last week.
Tuesday’s issue was noticed by Caitlin Welsh, a regular Wordle player and writer for Mashable Australia.
“When my partner and I both had all five green tiles, we compared our notes and found that we had gotten different answers, both correct, for the first time in over a month of play,” she said.
“It soon became clear that the Wordle 241 game was actually two different games, depending on which version of the site you’re using.”
Welsh said she is still playing the game on the original site – powerlanguage.co.uk/wordle, where creator Josh Wardle first uploaded the game for the public in October after initially only sharing it. with his family and friends.
Twitter user @Zantareous described Tuesday as “the day that divided Wordle”, adding “Are you a ***** team or a ***** team?” in reference to Tuesday’s two answers (MailOnline blurred them out for fans who haven’t played the puzzle yet today
‘#WordleScandal’: Fans were confused by the two answers available to Wordle fans on Tuesday
BOFFINS FIND THE LIST OF UPCOMING WORDLE ANSWERS IN THE SITE CODE
It has become increasingly difficult to avoid Wordle spoilers on social media as the game’s popularity has skyrocketed.
But several internet boffins have shared long lists of answers to come after digging into the site’s source code.
Student Owen Yin leaked the full list of answers to Medium.com. He claims there are enough responses in the backend of the website for the game to last until October 20, 2027.
Meanwhile, Robert Reichel, a software engineer currently at GitHub, posted an entire blog about how he managed to segregate source code and get the answer right the first time every day.
The fact that Wordle fans can still access the game on the original URL without it being redirected to the NYT website shows that the transition is still happening.
MailOnline has contacted the NYT regarding what they have done to prevent the problem from happening again, and whether it will remove Wordle from the original website as part of the takeover.
NYT Communications Director Jordan Cohen responded, “We update the word list over time to remove obscure words to keep the puzzle accessible to more people, as well as insensitive or offensive words.
“Solvers of the old word list can probably update the new list by refreshing their browsers.
“Our priority is to make sure people can keep their stats and streaks from the original site, and that’s a migration that happens over time as people play .
“We will eventually permanently redirect users to the NYTimes.com URL, in which case everyone should be playing the same version, as long as they refresh their browser.”
Cohen previously told Australian journalist Michael Slezak that the original word for Tuesday was changed because it was “too obscure”.
“We update the word list over time to remove obscure words to keep the puzzle accessible to more people, as well as insensitive or offensive words,” Cohen said in an email to Slezak. ‘***** is an example of an obscure word.’
Many people around the world noticed the issue and took to Twitter to express their displeasure.
NYT communications director Jordan Cohen previously told Australian journalist Michael Slezak that the original word for Tuesday was removed because it was “too obscure”.
Twitter user @Zantareous described Tuesday as “the day that divided Wordle”, adding “Are you a ***** team or a ***** team?”
Another user, @judysuthrlandnz, called the whole issue a “#WordleScandal”, while @noelhurley tagged the official NYT Twitter account to say “you seem to have broken Wordle”.
It also emerged this week that the NYT has made other changes to the game since picking it up.
According to BoingBoing, several words from the upcoming Wordle list have been removed, including “lynch”, “slave”, and “wench”.
NYT staff appear to have considered these loaded terms to be offensive, and therefore felt he had to leave.
Other words to be dropped include fiber (probably because this is the UK spelling of the word, rather than the US spelling) and, more curiously, pupal.
Naturally, the NYT has also removed some offensive racial and sexual slurs from the list of acceptable assumptions, BoingBoing also claims.
Wordle’s transition to the NYT website began last week — though the move wasn’t without some initial hiccups.
Players became very upset when it became clear the NYT had reset their winning streaks – the stat that shows how many games they’ve won in a row.
Wordle isn’t an app – it’s web browser-based – and players don’t need to log into a personal account on Wordle. Instead, their browser will remember their past performance, including winning streaks.
Twitter user @JohnHeaner wrote, “The Times screwed up this simple treat faster than expected.”
Another Shanghai-based Wordle fan said she could no longer access the game because of China’s national firewall, which is blocking the NYT website.
Another user, @stardustsummons, criticized the NYT for changing Wordle’s user interface which “made the logo look ugly”.
Pictured is Wordle’s new user interface on the New York Times website. A Wordle fan called him ‘ugly’
Since Wordle’s takeover, fans have voiced fears that sooner or later it will go behind a paywall, like much of the NYT website.
The NYT said it “will initially remain free for new and existing players.”
Richard Mann, a British Wordle fan, data scientist and creator of the math-inspired game Nerdle, thinks there are various monetization strategies NYT could use.
“I wouldn’t bet on a paywall – 99% of users would disappear overnight – and I think the NYT Mini Crosswords are always free,” he told MailOnline.
“I suspect we’ll see promotions on the winning screen soon – perhaps encouraging an upgrade to an NYT subscription or premium access to other Wordle-like games.”
NO ONE LIKES A SPOILERSPORT! TWITTER BANS BOT ACCOUNT THAT LEAKED ‘WORDLE’ RESPONSE TO MILLIONS OF EXPECTED PLAYERS
In January, Twitter suspended a bot account that was spoiling the solution to The Next Day Wordle, the wildly popular online word puzzle.
The Twitter profile that went by the name “The Wordlinator” (@wordlinator) seemed determined to spoil the fun of players posting their scores.
The person behind the account is believed to have found the upcoming winning words by simply looking at the source code of the Wordle web page.
The petty “Wordlinator” automatically responded to accounts posting their Wordle scores with the message: “Guess what”. People laugh at your poor language escapades. To teach you a lesson, tomorrow’s word is…’ followed by tomorrow’s answer.
A Wordle fan on Twitter said: “What kind of sick, twisted person do you have to be to hate the sight of people profiting from harmless activity so much that you hack Wordle?”
Another Twitter user said, “Amazing how quickly Twitter can respond to important issues.”