Every Wordle Rule The New York Times Just Changed

When the New York Times acquired Wordle back in January, we (along with other superfans) asked one vital question: will the game remain the same? At the time, the primary concern for most people was that NYT might introduce some form of monetization to the game — like ads or a paywall. Thankfully, there are no pesky ads (yet), and Wordle has remained free, although The New York Times does charge users a $2/month subscription fee to access WordleBot, an in-house tool that analyzes players' puzzles and provides suggestions to help improve their gameplay.

10 months later, and NYT has announced that it is making changes to Wordle alright, but not in the ways we expected. First, the game now has a dedicated editor, just like the Times' other word games, like the Spelling Bee and Crossword. The woman for the job, Tracy Bennett, was formerly an in-house crossword constructor.

This administrative change implies a new modus operandi for Wordle — to be clear, nothing is changing about the game's basic gameplay. Players will still have to figure out a five-letter word in six chances. But, Wordle will now have a Times-curated word list, and that means there'll be some changes to what kinds of words are acceptable as valid answers and guesses.

What's new with Wordle

According to NYT, Wordle answers will still be drawn from the same basic dictionary of solution words, but the list will no longer include plural forms of three or four-letter words that end in "ES" or "S." That means the answer will never be SOCKS or NAMES, (although players can still use such words as guesses to whittle down possible answers) but it could be SHEEP or CACTI.

The goal is to make sure each day's answer word is "fun, accessible, lively, and varied," wrote the Times. Hopefully, Wordle will remain the same fun and challenging word game we all know, but at this point, it's safe to prepare for it to be different. "After nearly a year of speculation, it will finally be our fault if Wordle is harder," NYT joked in the announcement post, and all good jokes have some truth to them. If you ever run into any difficulty with a Wordle game, remember you can check in with us for hints and even the solution for daily puzzles. We always start with hints so we don't spoil it for players who like the challenge, and then reveal the answer word much later. Here's today's Wordle answer, for example.

Also, NYT will no longer curate the "larger dictionary of English words that are valid guesses", and the Washington Post notes that this means players get free rein with guess word choices. NYT banned some obscene/offensive words from the answer list when it first acquired Wordle, but Wordle players now have the freedom to use those words in gameplay if they please. These changes are going into effect immediately, and our fingers are crossed to see how they'll play out in the subsequent Wordle puzzles.