Has Wordle got harder since the New York Times took over?

Brilliant Netflix shows aside, there has been one thing bringing a lot of joy recently. No, not snacks (although that too), but Wordle. The word game involves guessing a five letter word correctly in six tries, with each guess revealing clues about the letters included in the correct word.

The game has existed since way back in 2021, but was recently acquired by the New York Times. Since they took over in early February 2022, fans have been wondering whether the game has actually got harder.

"It’s not just me, right? like Wordle is actively harder now?" one person wrote on Twitter, while another put, "Is it just me, or are these wayyy harder now that NYT owns it? [sic]"

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While the internet loves a conspiracy theory, the New York Times has denied any changes have been made, with communications director Jordan Cohen saying in an email (via The Guardian): "Nothing has changed about the game play."

The games' creator Josh Wardle (side note: incredible that Mr Wardle made Wordle) also previously explained that the daily word is actually predetermined, and not picked each day. In an interview, he explained the game was created for his partner Palak Shah, and the pair whittled down 12,000 or so words to around 2,500 words that she was familiar with.

Photo credit: Cosmopolitan UK
Photo credit: Cosmopolitan UK

Those 2,500 words are already pre-loaded into the Wordle website's code, which not only means you can actually already access the coming answers, but acts as proof that NYT haven't changed them to make them harder. You can access that very spoiler-y list here.

So the fact ULCER and ULTRA have come up recently, and everyone found them hard to achieve? Coincidence, apparently.

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