How the New York Times is building a games platform around Wordle (2023)

Dean Takahashi@deantak

How the New York Times is building a games platform around Wordle (1)

New York Times Games

Image Credit: New York Times Games

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(Video) How To Play Wordle: The New Game That’s Taking The Internet By Storm

Wordle was a delightful hit word game that took the puzzle gaming world by storm in October 2021. Made by a lone developer named James Wardle, Wordle was a rare sensation of gaming as millions of people played it and shared their scores globally on social media.

Then the New York Times Games bought it for “seven figures” from Wardle and turned it into a flagship game alongside crossword puzzles and other educational titles. Now the steward of Wordle and the New York Times Games business isJonathanKnight, who has had a long career in games.

The world’s most respected newspaper seems like a funny company to be in the games business, but keeping readers engaged and happy on the New York Times web site is important, and nothing is more engaging than games. A new study found that Wordle is the most popular word game in America (44% of those surveyed play).

All told, the New York Times Games were played nearly four billion times in 2022 and it has tens of millions of players every day. Wordle superfans like Meghan Markle, Stanley Tucci and Jimmy Fallon regularly tout the game to their massive audiences.


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I talked to Knight about the business recently. Here’s an edited transcript of our interview.

(Video) The New York Times is turning 'Wordle' into a board game

How the New York Times is building a games platform around Wordle (2)

GamesBeat: It’s an interesting place you’ve wound up. How long have you been there?

Jonathan Knight: A little over two years. We’ve had a great couple of years. I’m excited and bullish on the opportunity. Games are an essential part of our overall strategy as a company. We’ve had a lot of growth, accelerated by the Wordle acquisition at the beginning of last year. We’re coming up on the one-year anniversary of Wordle with the Times. That’s gone very well. We’re investing. We’re taking games very seriously. We have a big vision and ambition.

GamesBeat: Have you talked about how well Wordle has done to date?

Knight: We’re not giving out a lot of super specific figures. Not long after the acquisition we said that Wordle brought tens of millions of new users into the New York Times ecosystem. We’re pretty pleased with the sustained amount of engagement with Wordle every day, from audiences all over the world. It’s obviously come down a bit from its height, as any viral explosion will. I was watching Anderson Cooper interview Monica Lewinsky about Wordle on CNN. That’s when I realized that maybe we had peaked.

How the New York Times is building a games platform around Wordle (3)

But it was a true phenomenon, a crazy time. It’s calmed down a bit since then, but we’re seeing a very large audience still engaged with the game every day. We see a huge percentage of the audience sharing their scores every day. That percentage has not changed since day one, which is incredible. People have moved into their friend chats, WhatsApp threads and what-have-you. They continue to engage with the game every day. It brings people together. It’s a little something we can all agree on. I’ve been really happy with it.

GamesBeat: How large is the whole portfolio of games? What else do you have?

Knight: The anchor product is of course the New York Times Crossword. We ran the first crossword puzzle in 1942 on Sunday during a tough news cycle at the time, which was a big choice the paper made. We’ve lived with that legacy ever since, with games being a fun distraction from the news. But the Crossword has really been that anchor product. We went digital with it early on in the world wide web. We launched an iOS app for the Crossword in 2009. And then steadily began growing game subscriptions in parallel to the news subscription.

We launched Spelling Bee about four years ago. Spelling Bee plus the Crossword, we were seeing subscriptions generated by Spelling Bee really stack on top of the Crossword subscriptions. That’s when the company realized we had an opportunity for a portfolio of games, and not just the Crossword. That began an effort to rebrand from the New York Times Crossword to New York Times Games. We launched a number of other games. The Crossword Mini, which is a really fun bite-sized five-by-five crossword puzzle you can do every day in a minute or two. There’s a leaderboard associated with that. And from there, Tiles, Letter Boxed, and Vertex, which are three additional expansion games. We have all daily puzzles made by humans, curated and edited with New York Times standards for rigor and wit and relevance and so forth. And then I would say finally we have a Sudoku puzzle we run every day. It’s eight games in total. The Crossword and Mini, Spelling Bee, and Wordle are the three big tentpoles.

GamesBeat: Do they all share some identity around language? Is there something consistent that connects them to the New York Times?

Knight: Setting Sudoku aside for a second, the rest of them are all human-made and curated. I think that’s our superpower. We have a community of constructors. We have what we think is the world’s best puzzle editing team, still led by Will Shortz. He’s been the crossword editor since 1993. That’s our superpower. We draw on the community of puzzle constructors and have a great process there for getting puzzles out every day. That’s true of the Crossword. We have an editor on Spelling Bee who curates that puzzle every day. That’s one thing.

How the New York Times is building a games platform around Wordle (4)

Second, I think our puzzles are time well spent. You know as well as I do that there are a lot of mobile free-to-play games out there that tend to just suck the life out of you and keep you engaged 24/7 and monetizing every moment. We offer high quality puzzle games at a fair subscription price. We don’t monetize the experience beyond that. You finish the puzzle and you’re done. It’s time well spent. You feel good about it. You solve something and you come back the next day for the next puzzle. All of that, plus a very clean design that doesn’t yell at you. It has a great sophisticated aesthetic and clean design. That’s what we’re known for.

GamesBeat: You’re not going to go buy God of War next.

Knight: No, not going into strategy or MMO for mobile just yet. Wait, no, that’s Game of War. We’re not going to go for a PS5 game either. I’ve been in mobile so long.

GamesBeat: I’ve written about Arkadium before. I don’t know if you know them. They had an interesting approach with developing web games for newspapers. The idea was to keep people going to those websites, engaging them. They may have gone for a news story, but they might also see the games, play the games, and that keeps them on the site longer. Ultimately they argued that there was a benefit back to the publication as far as hanging on to those readers and keeping them reading the core product. Is that kind of strategy similarly applicable here? That games can come back and build the core readership of the New York Times.

(Video) HOW TO PLAY WORDLE! The Word Game Going Viral | How To Play and Strategies to Win!

Knight: I think it’s core to our overall strategy as a company, actually. Meredith, our CEO, rolled out the New York Times strategy last year to be the essential subscription for curious people, English speakers that are seeking to understand and engage with the world. That vision of the essential subscription for engaging with and understanding the world–news is at the center of that, but it’s surrounded by a multitude of products. Games, cooking, the Athletic, Wirecutter. We think we have a full suite of products to offer – again, with news at the center.

We are absolutely seeing that our subscribers, especially our subscribers that take the all access bundle and have access to all that, when they engage with more than one product, they’re much more likely to retain over the long haul. We see news and games as a healthy combination. We see great user behavior and retention around that combination. We do think it works both ways. The news is obviously a very big audience coming into the New York Times every month, and it’s an incredible way to introduce them to games. But being engaged with games also makes you more likely to engage with the news product as well. That’s a big part of our strategy and a big part of why games are so important to the company.

How the New York Times is building a games platform around Wordle (5)

GamesBeat: You could almost expect games at some point to exceed the number of users that are reading a publication. I don’t know if games have that kind of magnitude or importance for the Times.

Knight: Well, without getting into specific numbers, the New York Times audience every month is massive. We have a very large reach, a global reach. We’re not talking about games being bigger than news or anything.

With Wordle, I would say that Wordle was an amazing moment for us. Again, the audience has come down somewhat from its high, but Wordle at its height was just an incredible moment. Certainly as a games team we had to scramble to handle the traffic and have a strategy in place for introducing them to the New York Times products, to other games, to getting them in the registration flow and creating a New York Times account if they wanted. It’s an optional free account so we can store their stats and streaks for Wordle. But through all that process we were really excited about the scale of the audience we brought in.

GamesBeat: What else are you looking at doing as far as a road map and potential future games?

Knight: We have a lot of platform investments to continue to make in games. It’s a homegrown product. It’s a wholly owned tech stack. It’s a wholly owned games team, which differentiates us from our competitors. We’re making those investments for the games to be playable across all the different surfaces. We have the games app. We have the news app where you can play our games. We have the website where you can play our games – mobile web, desktop web, all the devices. We want a multiplatform game experience with a unified login and unified back end where everybody plays the same version of the game everywhere, no matter where you play.

In traditional gaming, where you and I come from, that’s sort of table stakes. But for us, to build a high quality platform for gaming is a new investment. We’re pretty far along, but we have more to do. I’m really interested in metagame features. Being able to track people’s stats over time so that they feel like they’re improving. We’re doing a bit of that now and we’ll do more in the future. I want to get to achievements that can be represented as badges or whatever. Ultimately we’re pretty excited about the opportunity to reward our players with achievements. That’s a big focus. More to come on that.

Content is always a big focus. It’s platform, content, platform, content, as you well know. We don’t need a new game tomorrow. Wordle was our new game, and when you have something of that magnitude, we’re just focused on it and making it successful. We’re very focused on improving Spelling Bee and bringing new features there, as well as Crossword. I would say the platform and our existing live games, if you will, that continues to be where most of our investment and focus is.

We have prototyping going on, as you can imagine. We’re trying out new ideas all the time internally. I expect to be doing a couple of more public betas of new puzzles this year. We have a small engine running against that, and we balance that against the core stuff we need to deliver.

GamesBeat: Do you have internal game development teams working here?

Knight: It’s not set up like a traditional game studio. We have a large live digital product that’s a subscription business. It sits inside of the larger New York Times subscription business. We’re broken into sub-teams that are going after different aspects of our subscription business. We do have a small effort internally dedicated to prototyping. Lots of folks contribute to that when they have time. We have a dedicated prototyper. I suspect that going forward, now that we have our legs under us on the platform side, and now that Wordle has fully ingested and gone well, we’ll be able to resource that a bit more.

How the New York Times is building a games platform around Wordle (6)

GamesBeat: Subscriptions are an interesting model. I do wonder how many options you decide to create for the subscriptions, whether to individual games or the full slate of the games or the all access bundle you mentioned. How do you approach those different possibilities?

Knight: I call us the bundle within the bundle. When you subscribe to games, you get access to all the games. It may be that you really want the Crossword every day, and you want the archive of 10,000 crossword puzzles. If you subscribe you get all that, but you automatically get full access to all the games. We have some games that are free. Wordle remains free to play for everyone, whether or not you’re a subscriber. Crossword Mini is that way also. Spelling Bee has a limited free experience and you go to the full experience if you’re a subscriber. But once you have a game subscription you have everything. From there you can add news or you can just take the bundle and have news, cooking, games, the Athletic, and so on. Within games we’ve decided to just have one games offering, rather than paying for individual games. It all comes together.

(Video) New York Times Buys Game ‘Wordle’ In A Seven-Figure Deal

GamesBeat: Did you consider taking Wordle inside the paywall, or did that not seem like a good idea?

Knight: Well, the strategy with Wordle was to–we have access to this incredibly large audience. Most of whom are brand new to the New York Times overall. As a funnel into our more premium games like Spelling Bee and the Crossword, it’s been very effective. The strategy was to simply leave the game alone. Don’t touch it. Don’t change it. It belongs to the internet in a lot of ways. Simply introduce them to Spelling Bee, to Crossword Mini.

What we found is that people who love Wordle also love other word games. Spelling Bee, the reason it’s a premium game, it’s a little more nuanced. You’re finding lots of words each day, not just one word. It has a lot of layers to it. It has a ranking system. A lot of Wordle players are falling in love with Spelling Bee. That funnel is working really well. There’s no reason to change that at the moment.

GamesBeat: You must get access to some very interesting puzzle creators. I understand from talking to other companies in the industry, there are some people who are quite good at designing these kinds of things, puzzle experts.

Knight: The crossword constructor community is incredible. It has a long and vibrant history. It’s an amazing community. There was a documentary called Wordplay made about that community and Will Shortz a couple of decades ago now. It’s always fun. I watched it on the Sunday before my first day on the job. Will runs the American Crossword Puzzle Tournament every year in Stamford, Connecticut. It’s a great way for that community to come together. We have a Wordplay blog in our community. It’s an amazing history, an amazing community.

A couple of things about that might be of interest. The New York Times is still the premier destination for someone to have their puzzle published, hands down. We get hundreds of submissions every month. We have a world class editorial team that works with constructors to get the very best puzzles possible to ultimately publish every day. We have constructors that have been with us a long time, that have been published many times, and we also have record numbers of debut constructors, which is really exciting.

Two years ago we hired Everdeen Mason as the editorial director for New York Times Games. She partners very closely with Will and the whole team. She’s done an incredible job of, I would say, modernizing the crossword constructor pipeline. Our editorial standards, the way we think about inclusivity, the way we think about diversity, not just with the constructors but with our overall standards around the clues–she kicked off a diverse crossword constructor fellowship last year, where we had hundreds of submissions and selected five constructors, novice constructors from underrepresented groups, who came in and were partnered with a New York Times editor to be mentored at puzzle construction. All five of them had their puzzles eventually published. We’re starting on the second annual class of diverse fellows.

I could go on and on. I’ll stop there. But I’m very passionate about that part of what we do. It’s a bit under the hood for a lot of people. They might think, “Oh, Will Shortz makes a crossword puzzle every day and that’s it.” There’s an incredible amount happening there. A lot of creativity and a lot of innovation.

GamesBeat: Are you expecting something to happen along the lines of a Wordle II?

Knight: A sequel? Somebody asked me the other day if we’d licensed out the movie rights to Wordle yet. No, we haven’t, and we have no plans for the sequel. Wordle is a very special game. It was lightning in a bottle in a lot of ways. We feel fortunate to end up as the stewards of that game. Those don’t come along very often. The next Wordle won’t look quite like that. It’ll be something else. But in the meantime a lot of people still play it every day. We’re very happy with it.

GamesBeat: It’s an interesting corner of the games business, even if it’s not as widely known.

Knight: I think Wordle changed that. I was at GDC last year right after the acquisition. It looked like Microsoft buying Activision and the New York Times buying Wordle were getting about equal play in the halls of the convention. A lot of people came up to me.

GamesBeat: Was it last year that Josh Wardle gave his talk at the conference?

Knight: He did do a talk, yes. This year my executive producer, Zoe Bell, will be giving a talk. One year later from the New York Times perspective. What was it like to acquire and integrate Wordle into our platform? That will be a cool bookend. I’m really enjoying it.

(Video) Wordle Is Now Available In The New York Times Crossword App

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Did New York Times make Wordle easier? ›

"Since acquiring Wordle, The Times has not made the puzzle harder," communications director Jordan Cohen told Mashable, adding that it removed 'AGORA' last week "in an effort to make the puzzle more accessible."

Will Wordle be part of NYT games? ›

With a New York Times Games subscription, you have access to all of The New York Times Word Games and Logic Puzzles, including: The Crossword - Access to the Daily Crossword puzzles the evening before their release in print. The Mini Crossword. Wordle.

Will Wordle run out of words? ›

You can download the game now to keep playing it for free on your computer, phone or tablet forever -- or more accurately until the list of 2,315 Wordle answers runs out in October 2027.

What's going on with Wordle? ›

The popular word puzzle game will now have words chosen by the New York Times instead of the preset database of words picked by its creator, Josh Wardle (Wordle is a play on his last name).

What was the hardest Wordle word so far? ›

The Top 25 Hardest Wordle Words of 2022 (And What They Mean)
  • trice.
  • knoll.
  • smite.
  • tacit.
  • atoll.
  • piney.
  • trope.
  • swill.
Dec 16, 2022

What is the average Wordle score? ›

Wordle has 2,308 possible answers and 12,545 allowed guesses. The global average for solving Wordle is 4.016 guesses, with Sweden being the best country (3.72) and Egypt the worst (4.42).

What is the best word to start with in Wordle? ›

Sorry Bill Gates, but AUDIO isn't the best word to start with when you're playing Wordle. A pair of MIT researchers recently set out to find the optimal starting word for the popular online puzzle, discovering that the statistically superior first guess is SALET, which is a 15th century helmet.

Does everyone play the same Wordle? ›

The short answer is yes. On a given day, players around the world have access to the same puzzle. However, the game updates based on the timezone of the player, meaning that some have access to a new word more earlier than others.

Is Wordle harder now that NYT bought it? ›

"No, we did not make Wordle harder," New York Times games general manager Jonathan Knight told NBC News correspondent Joe Fryer on TODAY Thursday. "Categorically. I'm happy and here to say that.” The Times says it has actually made the game easier by removing certain words it felt were too difficult, like "agora."

What are the odds of getting Wordle on the first try? ›

Since there are 2,315 possible target words in Wordle, the probability that you will guess the target in exactly one try is 1/2315 = 0.000432.

What are the 3 best words to start with in Wordle? ›

If, on the other hand, you're simply trying to win within the allotted six guesses, the top three words to play are “adept,” “clamp” and “plaid.” Using any of these three words will yield an average success rate in winning the game of 98.79 percent, 98.75 percent, and 98.75 percent, respectively, if you're playing the ...

What are the odds of getting Wordle in 2 tries? ›

So if we guess BIPED to start out with, there's a 91/2315 = 3.93% chance that we get the Wordle in two (so long as our second guess is from the 2315 word answer list). A qajaq!

Why is everyone complaining about Wordle? ›

Wordle can only be played once a day and the result is the same for everyone. However, since it migrated to the NYT's website, players have become frustrated by the game, with many complaining it is “too difficult” and “elite”.

What 5 letter word has the most vowels? ›

Top-Words with 5 Letters with mostly vowels
  • MIAOU. ...
  • ADIEU. ...
  • AUDIO. ...
  • AULOI. ...
  • LOUIE. ...
  • AUREI. ...
  • OURIE. ...
  • URAEI.

Why are people suddenly playing Wordle? ›

There's no doubt that the social aspect of Wordle, the ability to easily share your own results — on social media, via text message, or over email — and also see how quickly others guessed the daily term, has been a huge factor driving the game's rapid ascension.

What is the #1 most used word in Wordle? ›

The most common letters used in Wordle are E R A O T, according to an analysis of 221 games from Christopher Ingraham, a former Washington Post reporter. Context: Invented by Josh Wardle, a software engineer in Brooklyn, to amuse his friends and partner, Wordle has become a daily obsession for many ( 🙋).

What is the best first word for Wordle unlimited? ›

Some Wordle players have found success in starting with a word that has several vowels in it. “Adieu,” “audio” or “canoe,” for instance, may be good words to start with because at least three out of the five letters are vowels.

What is the least common word in Wordle? ›

The least common letters in all words are the usual suspects: J, Q, Z, X, and it's unlikely any five-letter Wordle word would contain any of those characters. F, V, and K are also uncommon, but these letters have higher odds of being in one of the five possible Wordle positions.

What is an impressive Wordle score? ›

Sweden is the world's best country at Wordle, with an average score of 3.72. The United States ranked No. 18 in the world for Wordle, with a national average of 3.92. The U.S. state with the best Wordle average was North Dakota, with an average of 3.65.

How many tries does it take most people to solve Wordle? ›

On average 95% of target words can be solved within 6 guesses with average game length is approximately 4 rounds. By the time the third guess has been made, a good player will have located about 4 target letters with 2 or 3 in their correct positions.

What is the average time to solve Wordle? ›

On average 95% of target words can be solved within 6 guesses with average game length is approximately 4 rounds.

What letter do most 5 letter words start with? ›

As for the letters that begin the most English words, the top five are T, O, A, W, and B. For the end letter, the most common are E, S, T, D, and N.

What is the easiest way to solve Wordle? ›

Starting with a word that has common letters is a good approach, because it lets you quickly eliminate many words: If you pick a word with the most common letters and one or more of those common letters is not in the solution, then you have identified a large number of impossible solutions.

Who has the longest win streak on Wordle? ›

Spencer Evans was the one whose accomplishment impressed me the most: 83 unbroken wins and counting. A wordsmith himself, Evans first discovered Wordle earlier this month.

Why is my Wordle different than my friends? ›

While this is a very real phenomenon, don't worry — it has an easy fix and a valid reason. It appears that if a player has kept the browser open that they continuously use for Wordle and have not refreshed their page, they will be playing the original version of the game from before the Times' purchase.

Are two of the same letter ever used in Wordle? ›

You might have learned this already (and done so the hard way), but yes, absolutely letters can repeat in Wordle puzzles. This complication is actually one of the major sources of difficulty for many players.

What happens if you miss a day on Wordle? ›

What happens if you miss Wordle? Yes, a Wordle streak ends when you miss playing for a day, confirmed in this Reddit post. A 'streak' in Wordle is the number of consecutive times you have correctly guessed the word in a game of Wordle.

Why is Wordle losing popularity fast? ›

There is much speculation that one reason for its decline is because the New York Times bought the game. Many players were concerned that the game would become drastically different after the shift, but Wordle has not become harder or experienced any change in its gameplay. A second reason is knockoffs.

Is NY Times ruining Wordle? ›

The New York Times Ruins Wordle

Therefore, its version of the game gives different solutions compared to the original version. This is happening despite The New York Times' Communications Director, Jordan Cohen, denying the publication has changed the gameplay in a statement to The Guardian.

How is NYT making money off of Wordle? ›

Even though Wordle remains free, The New York Times has been covertly advertising its other games like Spelling Bee through Wordle. A subscription to New York Times Games costs $5 per month, or $40 per year.

Has anyone solved Wordle in one try? ›

The odds get marginally better every subsequent game (e.g., 1 in 2,314; 1 in 2,313) assuming the correct answer isn't a repeat of the previous days' solutions. With that in mind, it's highly unlikely that 1% of all players are guessing correctly on the first try — and much more likely that some folks are cheating.

How do you know if someone is cheating at Wordle? ›

'If you consistently get Wordle in 3 or less, you are cheating': Players of the popular word game use shortcuts of all kinds.

What percentage of people get Wordle right? ›

Their analysis shows that less than 5% of all players get the word right in 1 or 2 attempts. Players who take a total of 3 or 4 guesses to complete the challenge form the largest group on Twitter's Wordle community. Almost all wrap up the game in 5 moves.

What is the most common letter to start a Wordle? ›

You may intuitively know that the most common starting letter for a daily Wordle is "S". What you may not know is how common it is. Roughly 18% of the possible Wordle answers start with "S".

What 2 words should you start with in Wordle? ›

From that starting point, we've identified these words as some of the very best first words for Wordle:
  • React.
  • Adieu.
  • Later.
  • Sired.
  • Tears.
  • Alone.
  • Arise.
  • About.
Nov 28, 2022

What is the best 5 letter starting word for Wordle? ›

11 unusual 5-letter words to kick off your next Wordle game
  • ADIEU. Adieu means the same as goodbye. ...
  • TARES. Any of various vetch plants, such as Vicia hirsuta (hairy tare) of Eurasia and North Africa.
  • SOARE. ...
  • DUCAT. ...
  • OUIJA. ...
  • CAROM. ...
  • ERGOT. ...
  • CRAIC.
Feb 1, 2022

Is guessing Wordle in 3 tries good? ›

If you can consistently get Wordle in three guesses, you are pretty darn good. A score of three is solidly above average, and it is certainly nothing to frown at. Especially with harder words such as “cynic,” “vivid,” or “swill,” getting it in three is very good.

Who has the best Wordle scores in the world? ›

Breaking it down by city, Australia's Canberra tops the list, able to solve the puzzle in an average of 3.58 guesses. It's followed by Jerusalem with 3.63 guesses; Malmo, Sweden, with 3.66; Durban, South Africa, with 3.66; and Paris with 3.69.

What percentage of people fail at Wordle? ›

While most puzzles have a 99% solve rate, and even tough puzzles have a solve rate in the 80% range, today's Wordle has a solve rate of only 45%. In fact, WordleBot claims that today's puzzle has an average solve rate of 6.3 answers....which means that most players aren't getting the puzzle correct.

Who is the woman who picks Wordle? ›

There's a five-letter word that describes Tracy Bennett's job: B-L-I-S-S. In November, The New York Times — which acquired Wordle from creator Josh Wardle in early 2022 — announced Bennett as the first editor of the wildly popular game.

How do you outsmart a Wordle? ›

12 Wordle Tips and Tricks to Improve Your Score
  1. Don't Try to Guess the Word on Your First Turn. ...
  2. Your First Guess Should Contain "Popular" Letters. ...
  3. Use the Same First Word for Every Wordle Game. ...
  4. Take Time With Your Turns. ...
  5. Don't Be Afraid to Use the Same Letter Twice. ...
  6. Don't Forget the Less Popular Letters.
Sep 29, 2022

What word has no vowels? ›

Shh, psst, and hmm do not have vowels, either vowel symbols or vowel sounds. There is some controversy whether they are in fact “words,” however.

What 5 letter word had no vowels? ›

All 5 Letter Words With No Vowels (Real)
  • crwth.
  • crypt.
  • cysts.
  • dryly.
  • flyby.
  • fyrds.
  • ghyll.
  • glyph.

What 5 letter word becomes shorter? ›

The five letter word is "short" and when we add two letters to it,that is "e,r" it becomes "shorter".

What type of people are good at Wordle? ›

Many people who enjoy doing Wordle, Scrabble, crossword or other types of puzzles are often high in what psychologists call a “need for cognition,” Prof Pexman said. “Some people just enjoy puzzles,” she said. “And we know that a need for cognition is different than intelligence.

Why are people upset about Wordle? ›

After the acquisition of the game by the New York Times, many have come out saying that Wordle solution is becoming way too hard to guess. Recently, the word BLOKE also became a cause for displeasure after fans claimed it was 'too British' and obscure.

Is the Wordle word chosen randomly? ›

Each daily game uses a word from a randomly ordered list of 2,309 words (out of the approximate 13,000 five-letter words in the English language).

Did Wordle actually get harder? ›

Wordle answers just got tougher, courtesy of a NYT change

Nobody ever said Wordle would stay the same forever. The New York Times announced that Wordle now has a dedicated editor at the helm, pulling it more in line with its other game properties like the famous Crossword and Spelling Bee.

What has been the easiest Wordle? ›

The answer for Wordle 260 is “cloth”, which one Twitter user said was the “easiest one yet”. Another user, who guessed the word on their second try, said: “Well... huh.

Why is NY Wordle different? ›

For those of you confused on how to refresh your browser window, you simply need to close the Wordle tab after playing the game and reload it from scratch in order to see the new changes. If you keep the tab open and never close it, you will see the older answer, which will be different than others.

Why did Wordle sell to New York Times? ›

NYT said it bought Wordle in part to help grow its digital subscriptions to 10 million by the year 2025. The game remains free, though it's possible NYT will eventually put it behind a paywall.

What percentage of people win Wordle? ›

While most puzzles have a 99% solve rate, and even tough puzzles have a solve rate in the 80% range, today's Wordle has a solve rate of only 45%.

What percentage of people fail Wordle? ›

While most puzzles have a 99% solve rate, and even tough puzzles have a solve rate in the 80% range, today's Wordle has a solve rate of only 45%. In fact, WordleBot claims that today's puzzle has an average solve rate of 6.3 answers....which means that most players aren't getting the puzzle correct.

What is the most used first word in Wordle? ›

Most common Wordle starting words

ADIEU — ADIEU was the most common response, with a total of 21 submissions.

What are the best 3 words to start with in Wordle? ›

If, on the other hand, you're simply trying to win within the allotted six guesses, the top three words to play are “adept,” “clamp” and “plaid.” Using any of these three words will yield an average success rate in winning the game of 98.79 percent, 98.75 percent, and 98.75 percent, respectively, if you're playing the ...

Why are people getting different words on Wordle? ›

People will receive outdated words if they do not refresh the browser window. Some players don't want to refresh their window for fear of losing their winning streak.

Does everyone always have the same Wordle? ›

You only get one shot at the Wordle. If you mess up, you have to wait until tomorrow to get a brand new puzzle. Everyone is playing the exact same puzzle: This is crucial, as it makes it easier to ping your buddy and chat about the day's puzzle.

How does Wordle make money? ›

Wordle does not currently make any money. The word game app is not currently profitable. However, it seems the New York Times, which sponsors the app, will add a subscription fee or include some form of advertising on the game in the future.

How much did The New York Times pay for the rights to Wordle? ›

At a $US3 million purchase price, the cost of Wordle could be recovered within a year if fewer than 10 per cent of daily players add a NYT subscription.

Will Wordle no longer be free? ›

When the game moves to The New York Times, it will be free to play for all players, and no changes will be made to its gameplay, according to the news release. “I've long admired the NYT's approach to their games and the respect with which they treat their players,” Wardle said in a statement on Twitter.


1. Why Is Wordle So Popular and Why Did The New York Times Buy It?
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2. Word game creator sells Wordle to The New York Times | 5 News
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3. New York Times buys viral word game Wordle
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4. How To Win At Wordle Every Time
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5. How To Solve NYT Spelling Bee [Best Word Puzzle of All Time]
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6. An inside look at how the New York Times builds product | Alex Hardiman (CPO, the New York Times)
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