The beloved game Wordle—which is taking over everybody's social media feeds as people proudly post their results as they attempt to figure out one five-letter long word per day—was bought recently by the New York Times after its popularity skyrocketed.
While not much has changed about the game—including how to play or whether or not it is free—some people are speculating the Times upped the difficulty level on Wordle.
And people are roasting it for that reason.
NYT: No, we did not make Wordle harder. We promise. \n\nAlso NYT: Today\u2019s Wordle is KHYBX \u2014 which everyone knows is a popular 11th century Latin delicacy derived from quicksand extract. Duh.— John Kapetaneas (@John Kapetaneas) 1644860936
i wonder if the ny times knows that if they keep making wordle this hard people are gonna stop playing— queereotype \u263b (@queereotype \u263b) 1645014005
One of the joys of Wordle was that it was not too hard. It was a brief respite of feeling like things in the world were actually solvable.\n\nAnd the @nytimes had to come along and ruin it.\n\nDudes, it\u2019s not supposed to be like the NYT crossword. It\u2019s like Jumble, only shorter.— Denise Dewald, MD \ud83d\uddfd (@Denise Dewald, MD \ud83d\uddfd) 1644888498
todays wordle was so hard i\u2019m suing the new york times for what they just put me thru— sarah lugor! (@sarah lugor!) 1644875283
Words for the past few days of puzzles have been extremely difficult to solve, or so the internet says.
But the Times disputes this claim. In fact, the word of the day is predetermined by the developer of the game, so the publication has very little to do with the word choice.
The only thing the New York Times has actively done so far has been to remove offensive words from the guessing dictionary.
NYT Wordle list:pic.twitter.com/on6KHFHfVk— Autry De Bluford (@Autry De Bluford) 1644970048
Original Wordle\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\nNYT Wordle— Joel Wilson (@Joel Wilson) 1644948501
the NYT Wordle team every day:pic.twitter.com/opOSrSCltI— lady of leisure (@lady of leisure) 1645029361
New York Times better stop choosing these hard af words, the reason wordle was so popular was because it was easy. It's not fun to clown on people bc they don't know what the word cynic is.pic.twitter.com/bcwhvWcAXa— Anconoid (@Anconoid) 1644865250
In fact, not only have the words been predetermined, but they have been for a couple of years.
A cheating hack for the game reveals the words for the game have been embedded in the source code since the beginning of the game's development.
A Twitter user said—upon checking the code—he found the Times was keeping to that word list in the same order.
For people saying Wordle has gotten harder since NYT bought it: The original developer coded the site so that the word of the day was pre-determined years in advance in the JS source. I looked (squinting to avoid spoilers), and NYT is still using the exact same order.— Kevin Slane (@Kevin Slane) 1644858607
There's a January 20 tweet linked to in this article (no spoilers) w months' worth of past and future answers. Even though the guy tweeted it 25 days ago, you can see the last few weeks' worth of answers, in order. So yeah, NYT hasn't changed a thing.https://screenrant.com/wordle-source-code-hack-every-word-revealed/\u00a0\u2026— Kevin Slane (@Kevin Slane) 1644859197
Could NYT change the order in the future? Definitely! I'd fully support it, tbh, because for a little while there was a bot that tweeted the next day's answer at anyone who posted their score. A spoiler-free experience for everyone would be ideal.— Kevin Slane (@Kevin Slane) 1644859653
Here's a good writeup on the whole situation in @verge :https://www.theverge.com/tldr/2022/2/14/22933007/wordle-new-york-times-harder-words-debunk-guesses\u00a0\u2026— Kevin Slane (@Kevin Slane) 1644871705
However, the New York Times Wordle page has suffered several technical difficulties since its launch. So while it hasn't changed the game, it has negatively affected it.
And while they continue to work out the bugs and the words continue to work themselves through the source code, it may be a sign things in the Wordle universe are just about to get even more difficult.