back to article New York Times outlays seven-figure sum for 1,900 lines of JavaScript – yes, we mean Wordle

Viral online puzzle game Wordle has been acquired by The New York Times Company (NYTCo), publisher of The New York Times. The game requires players to guess a five-letter word within six turns – a task made easier by Wordle offering clues that players have chosen letters used in the word, and whether or not they are in the …

  1. JimboSmith Silver badge

    Best of luck to him, never played it but people tell me it’s really good but addictive.

    1. Flocke Kroes Silver badge

      Does not have to be a time sink

      There is only one puzzle per day and solving it takes under a minute even using hand crafted regular expressions on /usr/share/dict/american-english to minimise the score. Writing 360 lines of C to pick the next best guess only wastes an hour or two. It is a harmless speck of fun.

      1. This post has been deleted by a moderator

        1. Flocke Kroes Silver badge

          Re: Just look at the source code ...

          I knew that was an option but I find creating an automated solver more interesting. Of course Knuth beat me to the code by a few decades but there were still a few corners because his solution was for colour mastermind, not word mastermind. 'humor' tripped me up because I was using the british-english-insane dictionary and 'light' caught me out because I scored 'dilly' as '.G.y.' instead of '.Gy..'.

          I agree posting tomorrow's answer is unkind, but how about posting the best first word guess? There is one word that gives more information than any other in the dictionary: takes you from 4594 possibilities to ≤ 221.

      2. katrinab Silver badge
        Paris Hilton

        Re: Does not have to be a time sink

        There is a dictionary list in the source code that you can use in preference to your spelling dictionary.

        It took me about 5 minutes to write a Jupyter notebook to make the guesses for me.

        1. Flocke Kroes Silver badge

          Re: Does not have to be a time sink

          I did a quick python version but it would have taken minutes to find the best possible first guess. Without any real optimisation the C implementation finds that word in 2 seconds on a Pi. I considered hunting for wordle's dictionary but I was afraid of finding the list of answers. Using wordle's dictionary might get to the right answer in fewer guesses but there is a fair chance Josh Wardle made his dictionary from the same source. I will try american-english-insane tomorrow. It could pick sub-optimal choices trying to rule out words that cannot be the answer or it could offer better guesses that are not in the medium sized dictionary I was using before.

          1. katrinab Silver badge

            Re: Does not have to be a time sink

            In Python, with no optimisation at all, using Worldle’s list, the search was basically instantaneous.

            1. Flocke Kroes Silver badge

              Re: Does not have to be a time sink

              Try that with british-english-insane on a 15 year old laptop that I got cheap because it was too low spec to run Vista.

              1. badflorist

                Re: Does not have to be a time sink

                Well, if it was instant and he ran a string search with vanilla Python (and not a C optimized version), you're laptop will undoubtedly work identically. It's 5 characters/integers... this should be instant even on watches.

                This also highlights what exactly this program is, especially since it's hosted right from a web server (no fiddling with Bluetooth protocols). Cheers to this person who "invented" it, this is a great example of profit.

                Completely irrelevant, but I'm still waiting for the day you can connect your phone via "WiFI" to a local webserver and still keep your service provider active WITHOUT "tethering". Admittedly I'm not sure about the complexities from the radio side of things, but this would make a lot of DIY/IoT things much simpler. Maybe it's possible already, but with the low-end (at least priced) devices I use, if I connect my phone via wifi to say "localhost:8080"... bye bye mobile service provider.

                1. Flocke Kroes Silver badge

                  Re: Does not have to be a time sink

                  Finding the best word is not an O(N) string search.

                  Step one is to trim the dictionary to words that match the scores from previous guesses. For the first guess no trimming is available but katrinab trims to the list of 2314 daily answers instead of the full list of 10657 allowable words - I call that cheating. Next, for each word in the full list, the trimmed list must be divided into buckets - one bucket for each of the 238 possible scores (3⁵ - the 5 impossible scores of 4 green and one yellow). That should be 10657x10657 operations but it sounds like katrinab is only doing 2314x2314: cheating plus not finding the best possible guess. Knuth's algorithm for colour mastermind picks the word from the full list whose fullest bucket contains the least entries. For word mastermind we can do better as many words will be equally good according to Knuth but the may differ in the number of words in the second (or Nth) fullest bucket. To find the best word the bucket lists for the good words must be sorted: O(238xlog(238)). Finally on my first python attempt I was using 17314x11881376 (british-english-insane x 26⁵) because I did not know that guesses were restricted to actual words.

                  1. katrinab Silver badge

                    Re: Does not have to be a time sink

                    You can score 4 green and one yellow, if your yellow letter is also one of your green letters.

                    1. Flocke Kroes Silver badge

                      Got an example?

                      Word: katrna. Guess: katrnb. Score: GGGG_.

                      Word: katrna. Guess: katrnk. Score: GGGG_. Because word does not contain two k's

                      Word: katrna. Guess: katrna. Score: GGGGG. Because there is no wrong place for the fifth letter when the first four are green.

                      1. katrinab Silver badge

                        Re: Got an example?

                        Suppose the correct answer is "great"

                        You put in "greet"

                        Your score would be GGGYG

                        because the second e is in the answer, but is the third letter in the word, not the fourth where you put it.

                        Likewise putting e for the third letter, and getting G tells you that e is the correct letter in the correct position, but there could still be another e in the word.

                        Also, if I put in "adore" as my guess, I get YBBYY

                        I know there is at least one e in the answer, not in the 5th position, but there could be more than one e.

                        1. Flocke Kroes Silver badge

                          Re: Got an example?

                          Your scorer does not generate the same results as the one in wordle.

                          I would expect great, great -> GGG_G

                          As tested: light, dilly -> _Gy__

                          (This one caught me out as an ealier version of my scorer gave: light, dilly -> _G_y_)

                          I changed my solver to use the dictionary from wordle and it failed because none of the answers are in the dictionary. The ideal dictionary to use is the wordle answer list combined with the wordle dictionary giving 12971 words.

              2. katrinab Silver badge

                Re: Does not have to be a time sink

                The worldle word list has 2315 words in it. The notation for a list of strings in python and javascript is the same, so I just copied and pasted, and used list comprehension to filter it.

                On a Threadripper Pro 3945WX, that takes about 1.6ms. A 15 y/o laptop would take longer, but not minutes.

                I could definitely optimise my code to run faster. Putting the list comprehension code in a function and using the multiprocessing module would be an easy way to speed things up considerably, but given that it currently takes considerably less than one screen refresh cycle to run, there is no point.

      3. petef

        Re: Does not have to be a time sink

        I think of my program as a helper rather than a solver. For my word list I started with /usr/share/dict/american-english. There are some diacritics in there that need to be stripped. Be aware that there are 266 words in the 2315 canned wordle answers missing from that dict. I took pains to avoid looking at those, just counting them. A bigger dict derived from SCOWL was only missing one of the wordle answers.

    2. Charlie Clark Silver badge

      I agree best of luck to him, and also to th New York Times for picking it up. That said, I would think it might, over time, need some variation.

  2. Throatwarbler Mangrove Silver badge
    Trollface

    In before ...

    ... the legion of Boomers who pop their heads in to say that they still do crossword puzzles in paper and pen (yes pen because of their superior intellect) and can't understand why you would do this sort of thing electronically and kids today and therefore and etc.

    Extra points for "I've never even heard of Wordle, but ...."

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: In before ...

      Pen? Oh, luxury. Do you know how hard it is to do a crossword puzzle with a sharpened reed and clay? Well, let me tell you, it's hard. Assuming it arrives hot off the stamping press and isn't smudged beyond recognition, the damn thing is constantly drying out and needs frequent spritzing, then you get mud all over your arms and clothes, not to mention the pile of little clay shavings from carving the letters in the clay. The Mrs. really, REALLY hates it when those get onto her new straw floor. You youngsters today with your pen and paper, thinking how hard you've got it. I sometimes lie awake at night, dreaming of doing a crossword puzzle with pen and paper.

      1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        Re: In before ...

        Well played, sir!

    2. localzuk Silver badge

      Re: In before ...

      Nah, a lot of boomers have modernised. Eg. my mom is on her second tablet, which is packed with crossword puzzle apps.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: In before ...

        And mine... she's also binned the daily newspaper delivery, having decided that for what it costs she's quite happy with the electronic edition for about 1/10 the price!

      2. andy gibson

        Re: In before ...

        And they'll be watching it on ITV

        1. Dante Alighieri Bronze badge
          Coat

          as seen on TV!

          if only they had the correct Lingo to use.

      3. Dave559 Silver badge

        Re: In before ...

        And if your Boomer mum's mum is still alive, if you ask her nicely, she'll maybe tell you where you can rummage in the attic to find her actual slate tablet from school…

    3. Chris G Silver badge

      Re: In before ...

      I don't use a pen, I find the abrasive character of the slate blunts it too rapidly.

      Besides the ink doesn't show up that well.

      I was wondering who laid the foundations and developed the the tech that has become modern electronics and computing?

      No, I have never heard of Wordle as I don't have time for word games that probably use incorrectly spelled words.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: In before ...

        @Chris G

        I

        ncorrectly spelled words? Never thought to use American spellings. Thanks for the tip!

    4. revenant

      Re: In before ...

      Aw come on - a lot of us people born that long ago were in at the start of the popular growth in computing and are quite capable of using and enjoying modern gear. We just think you don't have to use an app for absolutely everything.

      As for Wordle, though, us crusties have been showing off our talents to our young 'uns scattered around the world, via Signal.

      It's been a pleasant way to have a daily check-in with eachother.

      1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        Re: In before ...

        It's all these kids who had a Spectrum as a birthday present once upon a time now have the mistaken idea that they invented it all. In due course they'll get the same treatment from those who had smartphones when they were children.

    5. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: In before ...

      > yes pen because of their superior intellect

      I don't think you have to feel inferior just because someone mentions they use a pen. You'll get there!

    6. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: In before ...

      "yes pen because of their superior intellect"

      SWMBO has an interesting twist on this. She'll hand me a part-done crossword and say "Can you get me any?"

      As like as not when I supply an answer she'll say "I'd thought of that one but I haven't written it in."

      1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

        Re: In before ...

        As like as not when I supply an answer she'll say "I'd thought of that one but I haven't written it in."

        That's why I prefer a pen to doing puzzles on a tablet app. You can make notes by the clue, if you're not sure it's right. Plus write out the possible anagram letters in a different format, so you can more easily solve them.

        I've not seen an app or online version yet that allowed you to easily make notes alongside the puzzle. Hence I strill prefer paper.

        Similarly I prefer a folder full of the datasheets and tables I need for work. Firstly because I can annotate them. But secondly because it's easier to flip between pages while talking on the phone, to finding the right file on the PC.

        Admittedly that's possibly because I'm nearly 50 and so paper is what I first learned. But I don't think so, I think it's just that pen and paper is still a better UI for some tasks than anything electronic.

    7. Charlie Clark Silver badge

      Re: In before ...

      Good crosswords are all in the thrill of the chase and I don't think anyone cares whether they're pen and paper or electronic.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I've never even heard of Wordle, but ....

    ….when I were a lad we had to mine our own JavaScript by hand from dawn till dusk, 8 days a week!

    1. Throatwarbler Mangrove Silver badge
      Happy

      Re: I've never even heard of Wordle, but ....

      OK BOOMER (have to yell to make sure you hear me, obviously)

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: I've never even heard of Wordle, but ....

        Do I detect a zoomer writing comments? That is, a vegetable that can speak

        1. Flocke Kroes Silver badge

          Re: I've never even heard of Wordle, but ....

          Throat's first comment was complaining about a type of comment that had not been made with a little mild flamebait. Just downvote and move on without feeding.

  4. cookieMonster
    Happy

    Fair play to him

    I like to see the little guy make a few quid off their work.

    1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      Re: Fair play to him

      Absolutely, good on 'im!

      But I did wonder why maintaining this game was taking up so much of his time. Surely all it takes a few minutes to automate picking a random word once every 24 hours and then forget about it :-)

  5. alain williams Silver badge

    How long before 1,900 lines becomes 19,000

    and includes google analytics and all that sort of crap ?

    1. captain veg Silver badge

      Re: How long before 1,900 lines becomes 19,000

      It's already Bloaty McBloatface.

      I knocked up a clone using a French word list for my colleagues. Took a Sunday afternoon, 130 lines of JavaScript. No libraries.

      OK, it's perhaps not quite as pretty and it doesn't have the Social media guff, but the game play is identical.

      Can't understand the valuation at all. It was trivially easy to code, and the basic concept is, as mentioned in the article, the same as the 1970 board game Mastermind. So I find it hard to believe that there's any real intellectual property there.

      -A.

      1. Graham 32

        Re: How long before 1,900 lines becomes 19,000

        Being pretty matters. The social media "guff" allows users to easily advertise the site to other people. I read elsewhere it had 45 million visitors in January. That's the reason for the valuation. The number of lines of code is irrelevant.

      2. Fat Guy In A Little Coat

        Re: How long before 1,900 lines becomes 19,000

        > OK, it's perhaps not quite as pretty and it doesn't have the Social media guff

        That's why it got popular in the first place - an excellent UI and a slick way to use social media.

  6. UrethralAnts

    > your correspondent confesses to having tried a couple of versions that limited their vocabulary to swearing

    To be fair, one of those (Lewdle), was created by the esteemed Gary Whitta, of Rogue One, Book of Eli and PC Gamer fame...

  7. joe bloggs 6

    hangman

    When I were nipper doing this with pen and paper was called hangman........

    1. katrinab Silver badge

      Re: hangman

      It is a bit different to hangman, at least the version I played.

      There, I picked a letter. The other player would either write that letter in the correct position, or draw another part of the stick-human on the gallows.

      With wordle, you pick a word, and you are told if the individual letters in it are in the correct position, the wrong position, or not used at all.

    2. Uncle Slacky

      Re: hangman

      It's a variation on Mastermind - in fact there was a "Word Mastermind" variant back in the 70s:

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mastermind_(board_game)#Variations

      1. BenDwire Silver badge
        Windows

        Re: hangman

        I didn't need to look that up - I had the game as a kid.

        (I expect the grandchildren will find it in the loft once I've shuffled off this mortal coil)

        1. Someone Else Silver badge

          Re: hangman

          Yup - I have "SuperHirn", A German variant (but ostensibly made by the same company, Parker Bros.) that used 6 columns. It is also battery powered, but I can't be arsed to put new batteries in it to see what the electronics did.

          And yes, I expect my granddaughter to discover it one day...and probably be bored to death with it and toss it.

          It is in its original packaging, however, so if she is clever, she might just hang on to it anyway...

    3. William Towle
      Pint

      Re: hangman

      > When I were nipper doing this with pen and paper was called hangman........

      My mother recently passed me a newspaper that described it was a cross between Mastermind and Hangman after it took off online. Clearly they hadn't seen the "Word Mastermind" that others had here (nor I; Mum only knew of the other Mastermind).

      I first encountered the coloured-pegs Mastermind game in a visit to the Birmingham Science Museum while still at school, where an interactive exhibit challenged you to guess a four digit number within around fifteen turns. I went home and made a Spectrum* BASIC version without much problem, later ported to PC and written so that the game rules were configurable in order to add variety (albeit still with digits/colours).

      Lately I've taken to watching Lingo, which also seems to be reasonable at the rate of one per day. I shall nod to Hello Wordl, which can be configured to offer longer words -interesting for comparing how the strategy needs to be varied- but also lacks the daily limit. Overindulgence has taken the shine off both, unfortunately.

      "Quick, sell it" was a smart move here.

      --

      [*] still worth dragging an emulator out for Scrabble every so often, the level 4 adversary is extremely good at placing the relatively few words [compared to an adult] it does know

    4. that one in the corner Bronze badge

      Re: hangman

      We called it "Cows and Bulls" using four digit numbers in the margins of our exercise books.

  8. Natalie Gritpants Jr Silver badge

    Here's my first attempt

    Honestly, no joking: https://corky.co/Wordle.png

  9. Tom 7 Silver badge

    On my social media I can put in filter words to stop being bombarded with shit like

    W***le. Can we have on on the Reg please?

    1. Hubert Cumberdale Silver badge
      Coat

      Re: On my social media I can put in filter words to stop being bombarded with shit like

      No. That looks like trying too hard. I think you've been w**king from home too much.

  10. davefb

    What have they actually bought?

    Since clearly wordle wasn't original. They only original bit was surely the 'one per day' and limiting to 5 letters?

    That and the nice way it shares/spams the results.

    1. Disgusted Of Tunbridge Wells Silver badge

      Re: What have they actually bought?

      The brand and the player base.

      The same reason why most internet services ( eg: Facebook ) have value. It's not the software itself, nor the idea.

    2. Anonymous Coward Silver badge
      Pirate

      Re: What have they actually bought?

      I've eliminated the spam by responding to them with tomorrow's answer (tomorrow is moist, since you asked)

      The answers are in the JS as a simple array which is iterated each day. A simple search for today's answer, then look at the next entry which is tomorrow's.

      People quickly stop posting their results, or unfriend you which achieves the same thing.

      1. Ken Moorhouse Silver badge
        Coat

        Re: tomorrow is moist, since you asked

        Damn you've totally spoilt the weather forecast for me tomorrow.

        Icon + umbrella--->

      2. Martin Silver badge
        WTF?

        Re: What have they actually bought?

        I didn't fucking ask, actually, and you have now removed a few minutes of pleasure from my day, just to show off that you could. Bravely posting as AC, as well.

        Are you really the sort of person who just likes spoiling things for others, just to get a little boost for yourself? Do you go up to people reading Agatha Christie on the tube and tell them who did it?

        1. Anonymous Coward Silver badge

          Re: What have they actually bought?

          > Bravely posting as AC, as well.

          Nope. I see that your username isn't your full legal name; mine isn't either. AC's don't get to choose their icon, nor is their username clickable. The clues are all there but you chose not to pick up on them... that attitude is going to hamper your enjoyment of the game far more than my comment!

          It's just a bit of friendly fight-back to the deluge of spammy posts. And it's remarkably effective. Nobody's forced to read the comments.

        2. John Brown (no body) Silver badge
          Windows

          Re: What have they actually bought?

          "Do you go up to people reading Agatha Christie on the tube and tell them who did it?"

          Why yes, yes I do. Why do you ask?

          PS, it was the butler.

    3. Uncle Slacky
      Thumb Up

      Re: What have they actually bought?

      Yep, "Word Mastermind" dates from 1975:

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mastermind_(board_game)#Variations

      1. tiggity Silver badge

        Re: What have they actually bought?

        And digitally (though as an app, not a webpage) the QI team made qiktionary (4 letter word game though rather than 5) quite a few years ago... though arguably its got more game play facets to it than wordle.

        So, I think it would be hard to go after any clones (so long as they don't rip off source code hugely) as there's plenty of prior art that's arguably applicable

  11. ascii bandit

    Program 1$ 1 millon users - at least 1.000.000$

    Title says all

  12. RSW

    The game is not just online

    The game I enjoy is to drop the word of the day into every conversation I can squeeze it in to

    1. Robin

      Re: The game is not just online

      I've been doing this successfully using the Lewdle version for a while, and I didn't even know I was playing.

  13. W.S.Gosset Silver badge

    Secret Origin Story

    > It took off when Wardle added a feature allowing players to share their results,

    Actually, it took off when a journo in the Wall Street Journal (IIRC) posted a large rave piece about it.

    Went from 90ppl/day to humongous within a coupla days.

    After he saw people sharing results online by drawing little boxes manually, he added in the Share feature.

  14. andy gibson

    Lingo / Wordle

    It was a British game show in the 1980s, revived in early 2021

    1. Warm Braw Silver badge

      Re: Lingo / Wordle

      I think it started in the US. There were a number of versions in different countries. I remember watching the Dutch version in the '90s. They managed to keep it going for 25 years and then revive it, so perhaps there's time for the NYT to get its money back.

  15. Sp1z

    I've already written a C# clone and dumped it into a Discord bot so I can play against friends, as I saw this coming a mile off. (despite the fact that only 26 days ago Josh Wardle said there would never be any ads etc.)

  16. dajames Silver badge

    Does anyone else enjoy the irony that "Wordle" itself is SIX letters?

    1. BenDwire Silver badge
      Facepalm

      LINGO is 5 yet "Word Mastermind" is 14. I'm not sure that I see a pattern here ...

      1. Steve K Silver badge

        The digit sum of 14 is 5 - spooky!

  17. Santa from Exeter

    Interesting

    Rather interesting to see "Copyright (c) Microsoft Corporation" in the middle of the code!

    1. Dave559 Silver badge

      Re: Interesting

      I'm assuming that the function which follows the copyright text is from a JavaScript library written by Microsoft somewhere, and he's just put it into the same source file to save having to make a further web request?

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    There is a reason why I can't play games

    And that is being an engineer.

    More specifically in this case, one that knows enough JavaScript to just grab the solution from the custom element that implements the game (the JS is rather neatly written, btw).

    Kind of spoils the fun as far as the game is concerned, but finding the general solution is something I enjoy more anyway.

  19. mif
    Stop

    Woah! Spoilers!

    Or cheat sheet, if you prefer.

  20. Mister Dubious
    Joke

    A warning for Wardle

    T I M E S

    M O N E Y

    M A K E S

    C O D E R

    I N C U R

    T A X E S

    1. captain veg Silver badge

      Re: A warning for Wardle

      Phew!

      -A.

  21. gormful

    Well, crap. My wife and I both play Wordle, and we share a subscription to the NYTimes.

    I guess she'll get to do Wordle on the even days, and I'll take the odd days...

  22. lowwall

    More capable alternative

    https://hellowordl.net/ - You can play as many as you'd like and change the number of letters.

    To make it a bit more challenging, I start the next puzzle with the answer to the previous one (or my last guess without repeated letters if there are repeats in the solution). And BTW, while the solution set has only 2.3k words, the allowed guess set has 10k which does include many UK spellings. "-our" is often handy when you are working through the vowels.

  23. goldcd

    I am very happy for him

    Maybe what got overlooked isn't so much the game though - as is endlessly mentioned it's quite simple and could be knocked out by any competent dev and isn't even that original.

    My thoughts:

    1) It's the absolute antithesis of any recent game. No ads, you can only play it once a day, still no ads and not an f'in "best value gem pack" to buy.

    Each day you have fun for a few minutes - and hope to see you again tomorrow.

    2) The UI is slick. It gives me pleasure just interacting with it. The keyboard that auto-marks your burnt letters, even the feeling of commitment pressing enter gives (despite a lesser designer thinking it would be pointless as you've entered 5 letters, so "let's remove that extra click" - that click extra click makes it better)

    3) Everybody gets the same word each day. I'm not sure if we have the oft-desired 'water-cooler comments' we used to back in the day. With everything being optimized and customized on every refresh, it gives you the opportunity to say "Don't you think that word today was a complete bastard?"

    4) The game is for everybody - can't think of many games I'd happily point my grandmother to (Unless Raid:Shadow Legends had promised me a gem-pack and a 50% cooldown boost, if she spent $50 on Ork powder)

    5) The ability to share your results/show-off, without spoiling the game or making you feel like a shill. This is the thing that I suspect drew most people in.

    Not some cookie-loaded URL - you can literally just paste it into anything. People are intrigued, they click and happily go through my previous points and become 'one of us'

    Really glad to see it's paid off for him and glad to see it's found a home that seems like a good fit.

    My real point, if I had one, was that whilst Wordle was small and simple - it shows that's all you need if you're prepared to polish it until it shines.

  24. Wenlocke

    What's even funnier is, if you right-click/save the page including its JS, the whole thing runs client-side. You could play for a couple of years without ever having to go through a paywall of any sort.

  25. steviebuk Silver badge

    What confuses me...

    ....is what have they paid for?

    The reason being is, as soon as I started playing this I knew I'd seen it before. It is just a copy of Lingo from the 80s minus the bingo part, that is a copy of Jotto from 1955. So what exactly have The New York Times paid for? Surely its just the code because Wordle isn't a new idea.

    "The acquisition is probably also bad news for Wordle clones"

    Well no, because its not an original idea so surely they can't trademark it. The concept has been around, as I said, since 1955, so I'd assume they've only paid for some of the javascript code, not all of it can be claimed (there is a chunk of Microsoft code in it). I assume they've purchased it to save face as if they'd just created their own copy, there'd have been backlash.

    He got out at the right time however, as there was a troll company applying for a trademark of the word 'wordle'. No doubt they'd have either demanded he pay a license after or threatened to sue if he either didn't remove the game or handed it over to them for free. Now he can just enjoy the money and let The New York Times deal with that legal headache.

    And I'm sure someone has already pointed out, all the code is local so just download the index and the javascript file and you can play it offline, when they inevitably stick it behind a pay wall.

  26. William Towle
    Holmes

    Also see also: adversarial version

    In addition to Hello Wordl there is also Absurdle, which allows itself to change its word every guess as long as your previous guesses don't rule out its new choice and thus makes for an interesting challenge.

    Within five games I had a consistent strategy for pinning it down in six to eight guesses, and in the longer games found two words /usr/share/dict/words lacks [hence icon -->]

    How and whether to vary the strategy in response to the evaluation of your guess is less clear than with Wordle, and signs are good (in my own quickly formed opinion) that this version may be less prone to the overindulgence burnout mentioned earlier.

    1. Martin Silver badge

      Re: Also see also: adversarial version

      Absurdle is interesting, but has one major snag - if you use the same words, you get the same answer. So it's up to you to randomise it. I normally start a new game with the word that came out of the previous one.

      1. William Towle
        Thumb Up

        Re: Also see also: adversarial version

        > Absurdle is interesting, but has one major snag - if you use the same words, you get the same answer. So it's up to you to randomise it. I normally start a new game with the word that came out of the previous one.

        I wouldn't call that a snag per se. You can work toward an ideal word list (lists, even) if you want, and there's the "random guess" button to kick off with if you'd rather not. Incidentally the "give up" button doesn't have a predictable answer, so it's picking a random word at some point but I haven't looked at the code to see exactly when.

        I did notice fairly swiftly that it was consistent *then* read the worked example to find out why. It becomes obvious that your word list *and* the order you use it matters, hence the "less prone..." observation above.

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