The New York Times changed the word of the day for November 7th from “unite” to “begin” ahead of the midterms happening on November 8th in an attempt to avoid making a political statement. November 7th also marked the day when Wordle’s new dedicated editor started her job.
Update: “unite” is the Wordle solution for November 10th.
Numerous Google searches for “November 7 Wordle Answer” for Wordle 506 reveal that the original solution should have been “unite,” but any Wordle solver on November 7th knows that the actual solution was “begin.”
Wordle Hires a Dedicated Editor, Tracy Bennett
The change is partially attributable to the appointment of dedicated puzzle editor Tracy Bennett, who joined The Times as an associate puzzle editor in 2020, on Nov. 7th. Now that Wordle has a dedicated editor, like the Crossword, Mini, and Spelling Bee do, it should be no surprise if Wordle gets harder.
One of the major changes that Bennett made is the removal of plural forms of three- or four-letter words that end in “ES” or “S.” According to The Times, this means that “the answer will never be FOXES or SPOTS, but it might be GEESE or FUNGI.”
While Bennett updates the word solutions from now on, users may notice that multiple solutions exist depending on what version of Wordle’s code is cached in their browsers. Hopefully, this will resolve itself over the next few days.
Multiple Wordle Solutions
Users may notice that over the next few days, there may be multiple solutions that work. This is largely dependent on browser caching. Users who frequently play Wordle may have an older version of the script stored in their browser that had the original solutions.
In this case, two different players may be able to play two different words, and both solve Wordle successfully. If you want the new version of Wordle, using it in Incognito/Privacy mode or clearing your cache will do the trick.
For example, on November 7th some users could still use “unite” as the solution. Similarly, on November 8th, some users could solve Wordle with “snarl” while others had to guess the new word “spell.”
Not the First Change for Wordle
Wordle words have been preset since the game first launched. When The New York Times acquired Wordle, they reviewed the future list of words and removed other potentially risky words from their bank of future answers.
This is not the first time The New York Times changed its Wordle word of the day. On May 9, 2022, The New York Times changed the Wordle word to avoid controversy related to Roe v. Wade and keep its game “distinct from the news.”
In March, The New York Times added an alternate solution so that either “harry” or “stove” worked so that certain words did not offend Wordle players.
Today’s change was clearly to avoid controversy related to tomorrow’s election. With several key seats in both the House and Senate up for grabs and numerous governor elections with narrowing margins, The New York Times clearly did not want to be seen as politically motivated by trying to “unite” the country.
Wordle is a simple daily word game that gives players 6 chances to guess a 5-letter word. Each guess provides clues as to what the word is by turning correctly placed letters green, incorrectly placed letters yellow, and letters no in the word grey.
Wordle was originally created by Josh Wardle, a software engineer, as a way for him and his partner to play a daily word game together. Once the game grew in popularity in his family’s WhatsApp chat, Wardle decided to make the game public in October 2021. According to The New York Times, “On Nov. 1, 90 people played. On Sunday, just over two months later, more than 300,000 people played.”
Since then, Wordle has become a global phenomenon. In January 2022, The New York Times purchased the game for a few million dollars (“low-seven figures”).
The name Wordle is a play on Wardle’s last name and is the perfect name for the online game. Since the launch, many other copycat word games have spun up thanks to the popularity of the original.
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