Nobody ever said Wordle would stay the same forever. The New York Times announced that Wordle now has a dedicated editor at the helm, pulling it more in line with its other game properties like the famous Crossword and Spelling Bee. “After nearly a year of speculation, it will finally be our fault if Wordle is harder,” the announcement ominously declared.
Now that there is a person taking charge of Wordle’s direction, the game’s daily solutions will more likely deviate from the predefined list of five-letter dictionary words that had been running the game automatically since inception. Outside of a few editorial decisions The Times made to strip out individual words that were expected to be distasteful or controversial, the list has effectively gone untouched as its popularity has ballooned in the last year. That’s going to change.
The description of how much the list will change is, of course, vague. “The game will have a Times-curated word list and will be programmed and tested like the Spelling Bee and the Crossword,” the announcement reads, “… answers will be drawn from the same basic dictionary of answer words, with some editorial adjustments to ensure that the game stays focused on vocabulary that’s fun, accessible, lively, and varied.”
At the same time, the indication seems to be that while the answers may be chosen and adjusted in terms of the order they come up as solutions, the overall list of available words broadly spanning the dictionary will not: “While the answer list is curated, the much larger dictionary of English words that are valid guesses will not be curated.”
There is one substantial change that we know is going into effect and will impact how you play Wordle: plurals of words that simply add an “s” or “es” to the singular word will no longer be considered as Wordle answers. So, words like “foxes” or “boats” will never be the answer moving forward. Plurals that don’t append an “es” or “s” will still be included, such as “geese” or “fungi.”
While that change could adjust your strategy, especially in later guesses as the number of available letters decreases, it may not completely upend how you start Wordle. A word like “foxes” or “boats” will still be accepted as a valid guess, and letters will still be appropriately marked yellow or green if correct. It will simply never be the final Wordle answer.
Keep these changes in mind the next time you go to play Wordle! Don’t spin your wheels on quick-choice plurals you know can’t be answers, and focus on using a good diversity of letters to further narrow down the solution.
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