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Wordle players have been left outraged after the game was swamped with issues following its transition from its original website to the New York Times site.
Fans have noticed several problems – including the puzzle becoming ‘too difficult’, an apparent glitch in Tuesday’s game which resulted in two different solutions depending on the site used, as well as another hiccup which saw players lose their winning streaks.
Wordle, which only offers one puzzle per day to keep fans hooked, has amassed millions of players since it came online last October – after being created by Welsh software engineer Josh Wardle for his girlfriend Palak Shah, who loves word puzzles.
At the beginning of November, the simple game – which involves guessing a five-letter word in six tries – had only 90 players; now there are said to be three million.
It is currently being migrated from the site of its original creator to the New York Times (NYT) website, following its purchase at the end of January for an undisclosed seven-figure sum.
However, due to some players still being able to access the original URL powerlanguage.co.uk/wordle – despite most finding themselves redirected to the NYT website, it has meant there are two correct answers for Tuesday’s game.
Tuesday’s original answer was deemed ‘too obscure’ by the NYT, and so was replaced with another word with a fairly similar arrangement of letters.
Yet social media users – who were left outraged when discovering their winning streaks were not transferred over to the NYT URL – have claimed the words have become ‘too random’ since moving from the original site.
Players of the hugely popular online game Wordle have been left furious after complaining the game has become more difficult after it moved to the New York Times (NYT) (pictured)
Wordle (pictured on the original site), which only offers one puzzle per day to keep fans hooked, has amassed millions of players since it came online last October – after being created by Welsh software engineer Josh Wardle for his girlfriend Palak Shah, who loves word puzzles
Social media users complain NYT have made Wordle ‘too obscure’ – but how do the latest words compare with the game’s earlier answers?
- Jan 01 2022 REBUS
- Jan 02 BOOST
- Jan 03 TRUSS
- Jan 04 SIEGE
- Jan 05 TIGER
- Jan 06 BANAL
- Jan 07 SLUMP
- Jan 08 CRANK
- Jan 09 GORGE
- Jan 10 QUERY
- Jan 11 DRINK
- Jan 12 FAVOR
- Jan 13 ABBEY
- Jan 14 TANGY
- Jan 15 PANIC
- Jan 16 SOLAR
- Jan 17 SHIRE
- Jan 18 PROXY
- Jan 19 POINT
- Jan 20 ROBOT
- Jan 21 PRICK
- Jan 22 WINCE
- Jan 23 CRIMP
- Jan 24 KNOLL
- Jan 25 SUGAR
- Jan 26 WHACK
- Jan 27 MOUNT
- Jan 28 PERKY
- Jan 29 COULD
- Jan 30 WRUNG
- Jan 31 LIGHT
NYT SALE COMPLETED
- Feb 01 THOSE
- Feb 02 MOIST
- Feb 03 SHARD
- Feb 04 PLEAT
- Feb 05 ALOFT
- Feb 06 SKILL
- Feb 07 ELDER
- Feb 08 FRAME
- Feb 09 HUMOR
GAME MIGRATED TO NYT WEBSITE
- Feb 10 PAUSE
- Feb 11 ULCER
- Feb 12 ULTRA
- Feb 13 ROBIN
- Feb 14 CYNIC
Examples of words before the transition included those, drink, tiger and panic – but now they have apparently become more difficult to guess since the change to NYT, with players referencing yesterday’s answer of cynic.
One player wrote on Twitter: ‘If I was being a cynic, I’d say the NYT are making #Wordle a lot more difficult.’
Another commented: ‘I don’t know guys… Wordle just feels different since New York Times took over. These words are just so randomly random. Two days in a row of me like, “That word?! Really!?” This win isn’t even joyous.’
WHAT IS WORDLE?
Wordle is deceptively simple; you have six chances to guess a five-letter word.
After each guess, each letter will turn green, yellow or grey, meaning:
Green: correct letter, correct spot
Yellow: correct letter, wrong spot
Grey: wrong letter
You can then use these clues for your next guess.
A third added: ‘I swear since New York Times took over Wordle my vocab has went down the drain.’
Another wrote: ‘NYT going for the “no limited-vocab pleb’s allowed” approach to Wordle. Definitely a step up in difficulty over the last couple of days.’
Meanwhile, Tuesday’s glitch was noticed by Caitlin Welsh, a regular Wordle player and editor for Mashable Australia.
‘When my partner and I both had all five tiles flip green, we compared notes and found that we’d wound up with different answers, both correct, for the first time in over a month of playing,’ she said.
‘It soon became clear that Wordle game 241 was actually two different games, depending on which version of the site you’re using.’
Welsh said she’s still playing the game on the original site – powerlanguage.co.uk/wordle, which was where creator Josh Wardle first uploaded the game for the public in October after initially only sharing it with family and friends.
MailOnline has contacted the New York Times regarding what they’ve done to prevent the issue from happening again, and if it will be deleting Wordle from the original website as part of the takeover.
The fact Wordle fans can still access the game on the original URL without it redirecting to the NYT website shows the transition is still ongoing.
Since the transition, many social media users have been arguing that the game has suddenly become more difficult
NYT communications director Jordan Cohen has already told an Australian journalist that the original word for Tuesday was removed for being ‘too obscure’.
‘We are updating the word list over time to remove obscure words to keep the puzzle accessible to more people, as well as insensitive or offensive words,’ Cohen said in an email. ‘***** is an example of an obscure word.’
Many people around the world noticed the glitch and headed to Twitter to voice their displeasure.
Twitter user @Zantareous described Tuesday as ‘the day that divided Wordle’, adding ‘Are you team ***** or team *****?’
Another user, @judysuthrlandnz, called the whole issue a ‘#WordleScandal’, while @noelhurley tagged the official NYT Twitter acocunt to say ‘you seem to have broken Wordle’.
Twitter user @Zantareous described Tuesday as ‘the day that divided Wordle’, adding ‘Are you team ***** or team *****?’ in reference to Tuesday’s two answers (MailOnline has blurred these for fans who are yet to play the puzzle today
‘#WordleScandal’: Fans have been left confused by the two answers available to Wordle fans on Tuesday
NYT communications director Jordan Cohen has already told Australian journalist Michael Slezak that the original word for Tuesday was removed for being ‘too obscure’
It’s also emerged this week that NYT has made other changes to the game since it’s taken it over.
According to BoingBoing, several words from the upcoming Wordle list have been removed – including ‘lynch’, ‘slave’ and ‘wench’.
NYT staff seem to have deemed these loaded terms that could cause offence, and therefore felt they had to go.
Other removed upcoming words include fibre (likely because this is the British spelling of the word, rather than the American spelling) and, rather more curiously, pupal.
Understandably, NYT has also removed some offensive racist and sexual slurs from the list of acceptable guesses, BoingBoing also claims.
Reaction: Many people around the world noticed the glitch and headed to Twitter to voice their displeasure
It comes days after fans of the game complained they had lost their high scores since moving to the New York Times website.
Previously, to play the game, people had to go to powerlanguage.co.uk/wordle, the website of Wordle’s creator.
Now, many people who enter this URL are finding themselves redirected to the NYT website, albeit with reset winning streaks.
Another Shanghai-based Wordle fan said she can no longer access the game because of China’s national firewall, which blocks the NYT website.
When players win a game of Wordle – i.e. they guess the word in six guesses or fewer – they’re shown stats including how many games they’re played, winning percentage and their winning ‘streak’ (how many games they’ve won on the trot).
Wordle isn’t an app – it’s web browser-based – and players don’t have to login to a personal account on Wordle. Instead, their browser will remember their past performance including winning streaks.
It comes days after fans of the game complained they had lost their high scores since moving to the New York Times website
The NYT addressed the issue on Twitter late on Thursday, saying that it’s currently working on a fix.
@NYTimesWordplay, the crossword and games section of NYT, posted on Twitter: ‘We are aware that your ‘current streak’ has been reset today. Our Games team is currently investigating. Stay tuned for more #Wordle updates.’
It later provided an update: ‘We have identified the problem affecting users’ streaks and are actively working on a solution. Thank you for your patience.’
BOFFINS FIND LIST OF UPCOMING WORDLE ANSWERS IN SITE CODE
It’s been increasingly difficult to avoid Wordle spoilers on social media as the game’s popularity has soared.
But several internet boffins have been sharing long lists of upcoming answers after delving into the site’s source code.
Student Owen Yin has leaked the full list of answers on Medium.com. He claims there are enough answers in the website’s backend for the game to last until October 20, 2027.
Meanwhile, Robert Reichel, a software engineer currently at GitHub, has posted an entire blog on how he managed to pick apart the source code and get the right answer on the first try every day.
However, users weren’t impressed; one Wordle fan under the username @IndirectLemon on Twitter said: ‘Oh c’mon @nytimes, you had one job. #wordle #streak #broken.’
Another Twitter user, @JohnHeaner, wrote: ‘The Times screwed up this simple little pleasure faster than expected.’
@HollyLMcKenna said: ‘The B******* at NY Times removed my Wordle streak, excuse ME. I had 29 straight days of Wordle success and now THIS?’
And @agcornish91 said: ‘Wordle moved to the NYT website and it RESET MY STREAK as a result. I am canceling my subscription and filing a motion to sue the times for psychological damages.’
Yet another user, @stardustsummons, criticised the NYT for tweaking the Wordle user interface, which ‘made the logo ugly’.
Meanwhile, Shanghai-based Wordle fan @mhchiang_ also pointed out that Chinese players can no longer access the game as China’s national firewall blocked the entire NYT site.
‘I know it’s not your paper to blame on this, but plz keep the original URL for China,’ @mhchiang_ said.
Other fans reported that they were still accessing the game on the original URL, suggesting the transition to the NYT is still ongoing.
Wordle creator Josh Wardle decided to sell the virtual puzzle to NYT after it snowballed and became ‘overwhelming’ to run.
NYT has said it will ‘initially remain free to new and existing players’, although fans have expressed fears that it will go behind a paywall sooner or later, like much of the NYT’s website.
Richard Mann, a British Wordle fan, data scientist and creator of maths-inspired game Nerdle, thinks there are various monetisation strategies NYT might use.
‘I wouldn’t bet on a pay wall – 99 per cent of users would vanish overnight – and I think NYT’s mini crossword is still free,’ he told MailOnline.
‘I suspect we’ll see promotions on the win screen soon – maybe encouraging an upgrade to a NYT subscription or premium access to other Wordle-like games.’
Pictured is the new user interface for Wordle on the New York Times website. One Wordle fan called it ‘ugly’
After the sale was confirmed on January 31, creator Josh Wardle thanked users for sharing touching stories about the effect the game has had on their lives and relationships and added that he was ‘thrilled’ and relieved about the takeover.
He said: ‘Since launching Wordle, I have been in awe of the response of everyone that has played.
‘The game has gotten bigger than I ever imagined (which I suppose isn’t that much of a feat given I made the game for an audience of one).
‘It has been incredible to watch the game bring so much joy to so many and I feel so grateful for the personal stories some of you have shared with me – from Wordle uniting distant family members, to provoking friendly rivalries, to supporting medical recoveries.
‘On the flip side, I’d be lying if I said this hasn’t been overwhelming.’
NO-ONE LIKES A SPOILSPORT! TWITTER BANS A BOT ACCOUNT THAT LEAKED THE ‘WORDLE’ ANSWER TO MILLIONS OF EAGER PLAYERS
In January, Twitter suspended a bot account that was spoiling the solution to the next day’s Wordle, the wildly popular online word puzzle.
The Twitter profile that called itself ‘The Wordlinator’ (@wordlinator) seemed determined to ruin the fun for players posting their scores.
It’s thought that the person behind the account found the upcoming winning words by simply looking at the Wordle web page’s source code.
The mean-spirited ‘Wordlinator’ automatically responded to accounts posting their Wordle scores with the message: ‘Guess what. People don’t care about your mediocre linguistic escapades. To teach you a lesson, tomorrow’s word is…’ followed by the next day’s answer.
One Wordle fan on Twitter said: ‘Just what kind of sick, twisted person do you have to be to hate the sight of people enjoying a harmless activity so much you hack Wordle?’
Another Twitter user said: ‘Amazing how fast Twitter can respond to important issues.’