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I Am the Creator of Wordle and I Am Stuck in This Hole

by the Wordle Guy

art by Eva Sturm-Gross

[originally published March 11, 2022]


I know, I know! The world can’t get enough of Wordle. But people keep asking me, hey Wordle man, what happened to you after the New York Times got a hold of your nifty little game?

Thanks for asking! Mostly I’ve been in this hole.

Gonna be real here: it’s not a great hole (LARGE). In fact, it has lots of less-than-ideal hole attributes (EMPTY) but I try to look on the bright side (WEIRD SMELL) and acknowledge that there’s tons of worse places I could be than this hole right now (CRABS OFTEN CRAWL ABOVE MOUTH). We’ve all had years where we’ve sold our deeply successful word games for a million dollars and then immediately gotten stuck in a midsize hole (WATER RISES QUICK) that we just can’t get out of. It’s the universe’s way of balancing the scales, y’know? You get pretty lucky for a while, and then bam! Hole.

When you work with words a lot, people start assuming that the hole you’re in is a metaphor (WOULD NEVER BLUFF ABOUT HOLES). Maybe, if they’ve had a rough 2022, they’re like yeah, haha, same. But when you try to commiserate about the water and the smell and the crabs, they bail real quick (FALSE ALARM).

But I’m keeping an eye out for fellow hole-sufferers, because really anyone could get stuck in a hole like this. I’d like to normalize it. Probably even someone you know has gotten an exclusive invite to a soiree in the New York Times personal isolated forest (GREAT PARTY VIBES) but, while looking for it, happened to step on a very solid-looking tarp covered in sticks and leaves, and then ended up in a hole (LACKS PARTY VIBES).

If there’s one thing that I miss, other than being dry and seeing the sun (WOULD ENJOY SLIGHT LIGHT), it’s knowing what words you guys up there are using these days. I miss when people would come up to me and start telling me things like my vocabulary has grown so much lately (GREAT) or the ever-popular please please please make it PENIS, I start by guessing PENIS every day and am emotionally devastated whenever it’s not PENIS, it would be so funny, please (YOURE RIGHT THATS SUPER FUNNY).

I digress! But if you’re ever in my neck of the woods (VISIT THESE WOODS BRING ROPES), you should shout down some of the five letter words you’ve enjoyed lately. I’ve been taking the time to explore some new favorites myself (BALLS BALLS BALLS BALLS BALLS CRABS TOUCH BALLS) and I’m glad that this whole experience can have something positive come from it (TRULY UPSET ABOUT DITCH SITCH).

For those of you who may be in a similar situation (SUCKS), I want to spread a message of hope and resilience (LARGE DITCH SUCKS). We will, eventually, work out a way to stack some of the various crustaceans on top of the skulls of past hole-dwellers, pull ourselves above the surface of the scummy water, and reach the upper world again (STACK FALLS; SUCKS).

For now, please wish me luck in my journey through this hole. I’ve been absolutely overwhelmed by all the support I’ve received for Wordle, and I would love for some of that to translate to support in getting me out of this hole (WEIRD SMELL WORSE AFTER NIGHT COMES). If you like stretching your brain and working out puzzles, I can think of some things for you to do in the New York Times isolated forest (EXTRA CRABS AFTER NIGHT COMES). Just some food for thought.


The Wordle Guy


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