It’s been 10 days since Wordle moved to the New York Times — and there have been a lot of people very unhappy with perceived changes since the move.
All good things must come to an end, as the saying goes, and many have lamented that the move has fast-forwarded the end of the internet’s collective obsession with a game that promised a few moments of joy each day.
Now, some argue, it’s gotten tough to the point of frustration, with uncommon words, double letters and American spellings sucking the fun out of it all. In a viral Twitter thread on Sunday, one user argued that the NYT had added a “veneer of pretentiousness” to the word game, taking the joy out of something that used to be “for everyone.”
NYT has absolutely ruined Wordle. It has taken joy out of something that was for everyone, a tiny sense of achievement we could all get from solving it by making it into something we are likely to struggle with. A subtle veneer of pretentiousness has been added that makes me sad.
— Prof. Pragya Agarwal (@DrPragyaAgarwal) February 20, 2022
Author Holly Bourne meanwhile declared Wordle “over.” “Too many shit words in a row to try and make the game harder.”
But the question is — has it really gotten harder to solve?
Not according to computer scientist David Andersen, a professor at Carnegie Mellon University in Pennsylvania, who has compared the source code of the original game with the NYT version.
Dear Medical Twitter: After 2+ years of saving the rest of us from misinformation, please let CS twitter return a tiny favor:
NYT did not make Wordle’s words harder.
Your symptoms are valid (it feels harder), but your diagnosis from Twitter info is not.
— David Andersen 💉💉💉🎉 (@dave_andersen) February 20, 2022
In a Twitter thread, Prof Andersen explained that the NYT is actually using the same sequence of words creator Josh Wardle lined up in the original game — removing just six words from the original word list.
These six words include fibre, lynch, agora, pupal, slave and wench.
Prof Anderson said that while it is factually untrue that the NYT made Wordle harder, it is true that the past few days have featured a hard sequence of words.
“The past two days had repeated letters. The previous week had a bunch of u’s.
“But all of these words are in the exact same sequence in the original game, except for the removal of two hard words, agora and pupal.” Tax professor Sarah Lawsky, meanwhile, has analysed Wordle before and after its move to the NYT platform.
The words since the move to the Times are, on a