Enlarge (credit: Aurich Lawson)
When the New York Times purchased viral daily word game hit Wordle for a “low seven figures” price late last month, the new owner promised that “no changes will be made to its gameplay.” But while Wordle’s basic guessing system remains unaltered, it turns out that the Times has made some minor changes to the five-letter word lists that help define the game.
Since its public launch last October, Wordle has relied on two basic lists of five-letter words. The first, which defines which words players are allowed to guess, encompasses nearly 13,000 words—pretty much every such word in the English language. The second, a list of daily answers, contains a more limited set of about 2,300 of those words, originally chosen based on whether they were familiar to Wordle creator Josh Wardle’s partner, Palak Shah (that second list should last the game into October of