Before Wordle, There Was Cross-Word Mania

In the 1920s, Puzzling Inspired a Broadway Musical, Built a Publishing House, and Counted the Queen of England as a Fan

In its short lifespan, Wordle has already made the tricky transition from cult phenomenon to established part of our daily lives.

Created by a software engineer in Brooklyn for his partner in October 2021, the online word puzzle game gives you six tries to correctly guess a five-letter word each day. Its no-frills design, once-daily refresh, and spoiler-free way to share results on social media has turned it into an overnight success.

But the game’s swift pop culture ascendancy, which led to it getting acquired by the New York Times for upward …

Where I Go: | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

Where I Go: My New York Times Crossword Construction Quest

Getting a Sunday Puzzle Fit to Print Seemed Impossible Until I Did It

When I moved to northern New Jersey in 2012 and took a software test engineering job in midtown Manhattan, I suddenly found myself with an hour-long bus commute. I’d solved …