Wordle, the viral word guessing game created by Josh Wardle, officially moved to its new home in the New York Times last Thursday. Many players were shocked by the default light mode theme and the disappearance of streaks for some players.
These many kinks have been ironed out, but players have noticed one thing: you cannot guess certain cuss words now. Specifically, the game has banned the use of multiple gender-based slurs such as “bitch,” “whore,” and “sluts.”
It’s likely that this pruning was precipitated by the move to The New York Times, a publication that rarely publishes profanity in general. What makes this move most interesting is that various other crass words like “shits” are still available for guessing. In fact, I tried that exact word in preparation for this story and wasted an attempt, so I guess the joke is on me.
This freedom of vulgarity will not last long though. In an email to Polygon, a New York Times representative stated: “Offensive words will always be omitted from consideration. As we have just started Wordle’s transition to The Times website, we are still in the process of removing those words from the gameplay.”
After being bought last month, Wordle has remained free to play, and promises to stay that way for the foreseeable future. For those of you who will miss these no-no words, the alternative Lewdle and Sweardle both remain independent and free to play.