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The New York Times’ divisive Wordle crackdown is the right thing to do

The New York Times has irked the Wordle community yet again with its decision to shut down a Wordle Archive. The website offers Wordle fanatics the chance to dip back into puzzles of the past. So if you missed a day, or want to know why everyone was losing their minds last week you could relive the moment all over again. 

But not anymore. If you visit the Wordle Archive site now, you'll be presented with a forlorn little missive that reads: "Sadly, the New York Times has requested that the Wordle Archive be taken down". Although the internet being what it is, you can still play an archived version of the Wordle archive which cuts off on March 3 with puzzle 257.

Wordle Archive shut down by NYT

(Image credit: Wordle Archive)

This is the latest Wordle-related move from the New York Times that has ruffled feathers in the community. After the initial furor accusing the website of trying to monetize the game after it bought it from creator Josh Wardle, a slew of players lost their progress, putting an end to some undoubtedly impressive streaks. 

The Wordle fanbase also kicked off over a perceived ramp up in difficulty; it turns out, this was entirely imagined and blown out of proportion (although the word list did get an overhaul). And now, what with cracking down on the Wordle Archive, the segment of players that indulged will be on the warpath.

Opinion: it's the right move

But I've got to say, the NYT is on the right side of this one. Wordle's hook is that it's a daily, one-shot puzzle. An archive of past puzzles is pointless – and the antithesis of the game's allure. The beauty of Wordle is in its brevity. You spend a few minutes agonizing over the answer before banging it out and moving on with your day. 

If you want an infinite Wordle, there are a plethora of alternatives, including one that's literally called Wordle Unlimited. You can harvest unlimited dopamine hits from one puzzle if that's what you're craving, or dip into some daily Wordle clones for a little variety. 

A Wordle Archive ditches the game's USP and does away with the online social aspect of the game – which I actually despise, but only because I prefer to play alongside my friends so I can physically rub my Wordle grid into their face in person.

Of course, the Wordle Archive wasn't a one-of-a-kind concept. There are more out there, like this one. That'll feel the wrath of the New York Times soon I imagine, so if you love rifling through old Wordles, best to get it out of your system while you still can.

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