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Why You Can't Play Past Puzzles In Wordle Anymore

The game "Wordle" all but took over the internet earlier this year as thousands of people flocked to the browser-based game to complete the daily word puzzle. Discussing them became a popular topic of online conversation that kept the game trending on Twitter for weeks. Fans have been avidly trading secrets, exchanging tips, and suggesting the best starting words, all in an attempt to help each other enjoy the daily puzzle more. In the wake of the game's popularity, dozens of clones began to appear with different gimmicks, ranging from one that introduced a multiplayer component to a "Pokémon" themed version of the game. In fact, the creator of the game, Josh Wardle, stated that the stress of having to deal with all of these "Wordle" clones was a major factor in his decision to sell the game to the New York Times.

Many fans have been worried that the sale would change the game, either by locking it behind a New York Times subscription paywall or by making it more difficult than it was under Wardle's management. It doesn't seem like the Times hasn't made any effort to change the game so far, but the organization has been cracking down on clones and other unofficial "Wordle" games. Most recently, a "Wordle" archive site that once allowed players to play past puzzles they might have missed has been shut down.

No more Wordle Archive

The creator of the website is a computational biologist and designer named Devang Thakkar. In creating the archive, Thakkar allowed players who missed one of the daily puzzles an opportunity to go back and do it the following day, and players who wanted to do more than one puzzle per day the ability to play as many past puzzles as they wanted. He announced that he had been contacted by the New York Times and was asked to take the website down. "It has been a fun three months since I launched this archive and it brought joy to a lot of us but all good things must end," he stated in a post on his website. "The New York Times has requested that I shut the archive down – to be honest, I was wondering what took them so long."

It seems that Thakkar wasn't surprised by the request, as he likely knew that the New York Times is highly motivated to protect the exclusivity of its investment in "Wordle." It is still frustrating news for those who were fans of the archive and who have enjoyed having the opportunity to play more than the lone puzzle-of-the-day that's on offer from the New York Times. With luck, perhaps the news outlet will consider creating an official version of the archive in the future.