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Did Minnesota’s Karl-Anthony Towns cheat at Wordle?

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SHENZHEN, CHINA - OCTOBER 04: Karl-Anthony Towns #32 of the Minnesota Timberwolves uses his smartphone during practice at Shenzhen Gymnasium as part of 2017 NBA Global Games China on October 4, 2017 in Shenzhen, China. (Photo by Zhong Zhi/Getty Images)

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Heading into All-Star week, Minnesota’s Karl-Anthony Towns finds himself mired in controversy.

Sort of. It’s about Wordle, the wildly popular word game that has blown up in the last few months (and was recently purchased by the New York Times). It’s deceptively simple and addictive — you get six guesses to figure out a five-letter word, with the game telling you what letters you got right and in the right place in the word, the letters you got right but in the wrong place, and the letters you got wrong.

Part of the game’s popularity is it’s easy to share your results on social media (without giving the word away). That’s what Towns did on Friday.

(NOTE: What follows spoils Friday’s answer.)

Towns apparently got three letters right on the first try, on his second guess got a fourth letter but in the wrong place, then got it right in a fairly impressive three guesses (it took me all six with this word, for the record).


The word for Friday was “ulcer.” Towns’ Tweet means on his second guess he had the U, E, and R in the right place, but had the C in the wrong place (and one letter just wrong). The problem is no word can be played that has UC?ER (the game does not accept non-words to be played). Wordle fans noticed.

Towns replied that he had posted the Feb. 10 (Thursday) word answer instead. That makes it possible.

He gets off the hook on this one, but you can bet he’s going to face Wordle questions All-Star weekend.