Well, this is finally happening. The New York Times Mess With Wordle. After months of baseless speculation that the new guardian was making the daily word game more difficult, the newspaper is now already beginning to ring in the changes.
In a blog post, The New York Times confirmed that Wordle will get an editor, meaning that the daily answers will be chosen by Times associate puzzle editor Tracy Bennett. This is in place of a word list put together by the designer, Welsh software engineer Josh Wardle, who sold the game for “low numbers” in January 2022.
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The New York Times says the five-letter answers will be chosen from a similar set of words, but with an emphasis on diversity and accessibility. We may also get more fun and lively words than usual.
“Wordle’s gameplay will remain the same, and the answers will be drawn from the same basic dictionary of answer words, with some editorial tweaks to ensure the game continues to focus on fun, accessible, vibrant and varied vocabulary,” the ad says.
The Times says that’s not the only change. It’s getting rid of the plural as possible answers. Plural words ending in “S” and “ES” can be used to narrow down the answer, but they will not be the answer. It can actually make things a little easier.
In the blog post, Everdeen Mason wrote: “…the answer will never be FOXES or SPOTS, but it might be GEESE or FUNGI. Because the game is currently built, FOXES or SPOTS can be used as a guess word to help narrow down the answer, but it will not be FOXES Or SPOTS is the answer.”
It is also possible for Wordle to be a little more difficult. “After nearly a year of speculation, it would finally be our fault if Wordle was more difficult,” the company jokes.
It certainly wouldn’t be surprising if that were the case. For example, the New York Times crossword puzzle becomes more difficult as the week goes on, with Monday’s puzzle being the easiest, and Sunday being the hardest. NYT also has an editor for Spelling Bee, which requires users to make as many nine-letter words as possible, so this was probably inevitable.
Wordle is now fully integrated into the New York Times Crossword app, where it remains free to play. That’s one thing that doesn’t change, at least for the time being.