New York Times says Wordle's woke makeover is continuing

New York Times admits it’s STILL ‘woke-washing’ Wordle: Paper blames ongoing removal of ‘sensitive’ words for glitch which saw game offer TWO correct answers

  • The paper, which bought Wordle in January, admitted it was still removing sensitive terms while explaining a recent glitch
  • That saw users able to correctly guess two answers to the daily game, instead of the customary single answer
  • Wordle fans took to the internet after some were told ‘Harry’ was the right guess, while others were told that ‘stove’ was right 
  • Times has already faced claims its changes are wringing the joy out of the game  

The New York Times has revealed it is continuing to ‘woke-wash’ Wordle of ‘sensitive’ terms while responding to a complaint about a glitch in the software game.

The Times, which bought the word guessing game earlier this year, said a recent issue which saw users able to correctly guess ‘Harry’ and ‘Stove’ as words of the day was due to the publications efforts to further censor the game.

A spokesman for the Times said: ‘In an effort to make the puzzle more accessible, we are reviewing the solutions and removing obscure or potentially insensitive words over time. HARRY is an example of an obscure word.’

The remark comes weeks after the Times said it had removed terms which could be considered offensive, including sluts, bitch and whore.

Fans of the game, which was created by software engineer Josh Wardle in 2021, then sold to the Times earlier this year, fear the publication is busy wringing the fun out of the game.    

In a move to make the game ‘accessible’ for all, the New York Times is making the move to remove certain words deemed ‘insensitive and obscure’ words from the game.

The glitch which saw the latest crackdown revealed sparked widespread discussion on Twitter. 

Some players reported that the game accepted the word ‘HARRY’ as that day’s answer but other players reported ‘STOVE’ as the day’s solution. 

One player suspected that ‘something fishy’ was going on. 

‘My husband and I solved completely different words & both were correct? I thought the whole point of the game was that the answer was universal.’  

The confusion over Wednesday’s two acceptable answers caused a Tweetstorm among players of the New York Times-owned word game.

Wordle is deceptively simple; you have six chances to guess a five-letter word.

After each guess, each letter will turn green, yellow or grey, meaning:  

Green: correct letter, correct spot 

Yellow: correct letter, wrong spot 

Grey: wrong letter

You can then use these clues for your next guess. 

Try the game here 

 They say that ‘HARRY’ is an example of an ‘obscure’ word. 

According to, ‘harry’ means, “to harass, agitate, or trouble by or as if by repeated attacks; beleaguer.”

The Times has not disclosed which words fall into the ‘inappropriate’ classification.

It’s not the first time the game has been the subject of controversy.

Earlier this month, players blasted the game for including answers that are too obscure.

Controversial choices included ‘bloke’ – an English slang term commonly in the UK instead of ‘man,’ and ‘Rupee’ – the Indian unit of currency.   

There were also fears that with the Times acquisition, the game would become too ‘commercial’ and eventually be locked behind a paywall. 

The game was originally started by independent software engineer Josh Wardle and was hosted on his website Powerlanguage.

It quickly swept the internet, prompting the New York Times to pounce in a bid to further expand its digital offering to readers. 

Some even claim that since the acquisition, it has become more difficult .   

Additionally, players were outraged when the game moved to the Times site to find that their streaks were reset. 

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