Exact old search for the UK BMDs (and LMA parish registers) had worked perfectly well for years. If you entered John SMITH in the first/surname boxes, that is what was returned — everyone whose first name(s) included John and with a surname of SMITH, and no-one else.
About October last year (?) it changed overnight with no warning or subsequent comment whatsoever. The EXACT search was made *fuzzy* so that all the Johns whose mother's maiden name was SMITH or who had spouses named SMITH were included in the results.
I kept thinking it was just a glitch and in time it would be fixed. I've now come to the horrible realisation that Ancestry might think it's a feature.
Please make EXACT search EXACTly.