The New York Times Buys Wordle

Wordle’s sudden hit, in which once a day players get six chances to guess a five-letter word, has been acquired by The New York Times.

The purchase, which The Times announced on Monday, reflects the growing importance of games like crossword puzzles and Spelling Bee in the company’s push to boost digital subscriptions to 10 million by 2025.

Users can share their results, and rows of five dice show how close they were to guess the correct word. For the uninitiated: a green brick indicates that the letter is correct and in the exact location; a yellow brick indicates that the letter appears in the word but in a different place; a gray or black brick indicates that the letter does not occur anywhere in the word.

The Times games – along with the crossword puzzle and Spelling Bee, including Letter-Boxed, Tiles and Vertex – were played more than 500 million times last year, the company says.

Mr. Wardle told a Times reporter this month that he started Wordle after he and his partner were “really addicted” to The Times crosswords and Spelling Bee games during the pandemic.

“The New York Times games play a big role in its origins,” Mr. Wardle said in a company statement, “and so this move feels very natural to me.”