No, the NYT hasn’t made Wordle harder

A few days ago Wordle moved from its old indie spot at to its new owners at the NYT, and apparently some folks have been grumbling that the words have gotten harder since the switch. And this past week the words have seemed harder both to me and friends and family I swap scores with.

But it turns out that’s just coincidence. And we can know this for sure because Wordle is entirely client-side, with a hard-coded dictionary of around 10K valid guess words and another hand-curated list of around 2.3K “common” words that it uses to pick the daily puzzle. So we can just view the source code to see that the only thing the NYT has changed apart from the font is to remove a few less-well-known puzzle words from the upcoming list (for example, “agora” was originally going to be secret word yesterday) and to remove a few problematic words from both lists.

It’s refreshing to see a successful game with so little server-side interaction, especially since it would have been easy to add a little reliance on a server just to maintain more control. Miss yesterday’s puzzle? Just set your clock back a day and play it: the secret word is picked from the list based on system clock. Don’t like the new font for some reason? The original version is fully playable at You can even cache the page locally and play it offline into the foreseeable future.