a game of Wordle that spells out 'Round two, bucko'

Wordle/New York Times Remix by Max Fleishman

Is Wordle harder over at the ‘New York Times’? Probably not, but the memes definitely think so

People found plenty of ways to poke fun at the new Wordle.


Michelle Jaworski

Internet Culture

Posted on Feb 16, 2022   Updated on Feb 17, 2022, 10:36 am CST

Over the past few days, Wordle—the simple and very popular word game that took over the internet—has had a few bumps and kinks to work through after the game transitioned over to the New York Times’ website. But has Wordle, as both players and memes alike suggest, gotten harder?

After captivating the internet for pretty much all of 2022 to date, our love for Wordle is still going strong; people still regularly tweet their wins, losses, and square emoji daily on social media. The main question amid the Times’ acquisition was whether the game would remain free (as creator Josh Wardle originally intended) and how long it would take before Wordle was placed behind a paywall. And once Wordle’s website took you over to the Times, players quickly reported glitches such as lost streaks, the removal of some words as guesses or solutions because they were “obscure” or “insensitive,” and the reveal that, depending on what site you’re using, the solution of the day has now diverged.

Some people are even complaining that since Wordle moved over to the New York Times, the game has gotten much harder to play, something that the Times denied.

“Nothing has changed about the game play,” New York Times communications director Jordan Cohen told the Guardian.

That hasn’t stopped people from griping or making jokes about just how “difficult” the wordplay in Wordle has become.

Many took to finding the most obscure five-letter words in the English language (and some in other languages such as Welsh and Latin) to illustrate the difficulty level that Wordle now had. They would never have been Wordle solutions—they’re the type of words that Wardle already eliminated from the list of possible solutions when he first designed the game—but it’s amusing nonetheless.


Some suggested that the problem didn’t have to do with the game itself, it was with the players. Until Tuesday’s divergence between the Times’ Wordle solution and the one presented on saved versions of the original site, the solutions were the ones that Wardle intended.

But really, the past few days of changes, from the perceived difficulty level to the glitches and word removal, were an easy excuse to rag on the larger and less cool perception that Wordle had now that it’s shed its indie cred for a more corporate owner in the New York Times. Several memes compared the old Wordle and the new by using images separated by size or the level of power contained within.


It may take some more time for the Times’ Wordle site to function as smoothly as the original, but that probably won’t stop us from poking fun at it.

Share this article
*First Published: Feb 16, 2022, 3:15 pm CST