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You’re not imagining it — Wordle’s been changed for the New York Times

There have been a few changes to the word game

A photo of Wordle running on an iPhone Photo: Michael McWhertor/Polygon
Cass Marshall is a news writer focusing on gaming and culture coverage, taking a particular interest in the human stories of the wild world of online games.

Wordle is a bite-sized, daily brain teaser that word game fans can knock out at the start of a morning or end of a day. The game’s recent acquisition by the New York Times has been worrying for some fans, who are concerned that their daily tradition might be changed by the larger publisher. So far, there have been a few small tweaks, but nothing too drastic.

First of all, a few words have been omitted from the official Wordle list, including “pussy,” “wench,” “slave,” “pupal,” and “fibre.” Some of these words got removed due to profanity, while others appear to be removed for clarity. Some players briefly theorized that the New York Times was making the game harder, but that doesn’t appear to be the case; there are still lots of simple words in the mix. (There’s also the lewd spin-off of Wordle called Lewdle, which only accepts profane words.)

Wordle fans also briefly lost their streaks during the migration, which is unfortunate for all of the wordsmiths out there who had long streaks of successful guesses. The initial issue has since been resolved for most players, with the Times pledging to continue troubleshooting for those who’ve lost the record of their successes.

Overall, Wordle is largely the same under its new management; players can still show up and play the game for free every day, make their guesses, and share the results on social media. Wordle is now a little less of a phenomenon as the novelty wears off, but it was never meant to be an in-depth, massive chunk of a person’s day. It remains a nice little oasis of calm, and so far, there’s been no word from the Times about implementing a paywall or other substantive changes to the game. Polygon has reached out to the New York Times to confirm the few changes to Wordle thus far.

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