Has Wordle Gotten Harder Since It Was Bought By The New York Times?

Many people seem to think so, but the answer is not so clear.

wordle nyt

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Do you think Wordle has gotten trickier since The New York Times bought it? Well, you might be onto something.

When The New York Times purchased Wordle back in January, they promised there would be no major changes to the game. The daily word puzzle game would, initially, remain free to all new and existing players.

The NYT has remained true to its word so far on the cost front. However, many players have expressed frustration that Wordle’s difficulty has increased since its change in ownership. “NYT Wordle has fundamentally worse vibes than original Wordle,” tweeted one user. “Need my prayer warriors to keep Wordle lifted up. Something is not right with her. I am troubled and we need intercession,” NPR host Sam Sanders tweeted.

Other users complained of friends and family having different solutions to one another. Previously, Worldle offered the same puzzle to everyone who visited the site.

Wordle originally worked off a set list of around 2,500 words. The game’s original developer, Josh Wardle, had his partner, Palak Shah — for whom the game was a gift — whittle down 12,000 or so possibilities to the 2,500 that would most likely be guessed. It’s unclear whether NYT has added words to the list, but they have confirmed certain words were removed.

Aussie journalist Michael Slezak contacted The New York Times to confirm whether changes had been made to Wordle that would explain its apparently inconsistent new vibes. Slezak tweeted a screenshot of the NYTs response.

“We are updating the word list over time to remove obscure words to keep the puzzle accessible to people, as well as insensitive or offensive words,” read the response. “Solvers on the old word list can likely explain the new word list by refreshing their browser.”

So, the reason you or your friend may have had different Wordle puzzles in the last few days is that your browser may still be working off the old list. As for whether or not it’s gotten harder? Harder and easier are always relative terms, but it may just be a byproduct of the word list being updated.