Wordle: The word puzzle craze that’s taking over the high school and beyond


“It’s a good brain exercise. It makes you think about the different word combinations that are out there,” Wordle, a widely popular word puzzle game, was bought by the New York Times in late January.

Social studies teacher Stephen Simoes walks into his classroom with his morning coffee. He sits at his computer and glances at the time. It is 7:50 AM. Five minutes until his first-period class – just enough time to do today’s Wordle.

Thanks to a lucky first guess, Simoes is able to get the word in just two tries. He takes a sip of his coffee and sits back, pleased with his performance. He takes a screenshot of his work and adds it to his file folder with his collection of two-guess Wordles.

Simoes’ morning challenge resonates with thousands across the country – a new widespread addiction to Wordle, a web game in which the player has six tries to guess a five-letter word.

“It’s a new fad, I didn’t know much about it, and my sons were doing it, [so] I thought it was interesting,” Simoes said. “I like linguistic challenges.”

Since its creation in October of 2021, Wordle has taken America by storm, with teenagers and adults alike competing to see who can guess the word the fastest.

There’s a new Wordle every day, and students and teachers at the high school say that it prevents a fun mental puzzle to do when you’re bored.

“It’s a good brain exercise. It makes you think about the different word combinations that are out there,” junior Luke Scanlon said. “You know, it could be a double letter, it could be all different letters, it could be [rare] letters. It’s really fun and I look forward to doing it every day.”

On January 31, The New York Times bought Wordle from its original creator, Josh Wardle.

“I think people kind of appreciate that there’s this thing online that’s just fun,” Wardle said in an interview with the Times. “It’s not trying to do anything shady with your data or your eyeballs. It’s just a game that’s fun.”

A special feature of the game is that after you complete the daily Wordle, you can immediately share your score on social media or by messaging.

“The anonymity of it is nice,” Simoes said. “If you don’t do well, nobody knows. If you do well, you can brag about it!”