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Is The New York Times Lying About Changing Its Popular Word Game?

The New York Times is making a few changes to Wordle, the popular word puzzle game it acquired last month; it just isn’t acknowledging them.

The New York Times acquired Wordle for an undisclosed amount in the low seven-figure range after the game took off online, with many social media users sharing their scores. Since its acquisition of the game the NYT has made several changes to the game, according to The Verge, including altering the list of possible solutions and guesses.

However, the NYT has issued several statements addressing the changes that are not only in conflict with one another, but seem to misrepresent the changes implemented.

The outlet’s communications director Jordan Cohen told The Guardian in a story published Sunday that “nothing has changed about the game play” in response to questions regarding whether the NYT has made any changes to Wordle after users reported the game was getting harder since the NYT’s acquisition. This statement came several days after users first began spotting words removed as eligible guesses.

That comment is in conflict with a previous statement given to Polygon on Friday confirming reports that the NYT was removing “offensive words” such as “bitch” or “whore” from potential guesses. The statement to Polygon considers the words eligible to be guessed by players as part of Wordle’s “game play.”

“Offensive words will always be omitted from consideration,” the spokesperson said, Polygon reported. “As we have just started Wordle’s transition to The Times website, we are still in the process of removing those words from the game play.”

The statement to Polygon also omits key facts told to ABC News reporter Michael Slezak on Monday, including that the publication is “updating the word list over time to remove obscure words and keep the puzzle accessible to more people.”

The NYT also reportedly acknowledged that it was removing offensive words and that players could access the new list by updating their browsers in its statement to Slezak.

The NYT did not respond to the Daily Caller News Foundation’s requests for comment.

The discrepancies in the NYT’s statements were first spotted by Alex Hern, a reporter for The Guardian.

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