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The World Beyond the Wordle | Sydney Hecht

My addiction started with Wordle.

Throughout my time as part of the Pulse Magazine staff, practically every morning has started with this game, an array of gray, yellow, and green squares hiding a new five-letter word each day. I've dodged double letters and avoided temptations to use the fan-favorite starting word, "adieu." Words like "movie" and "caulk" have particularly stumped me. At first, I thought I was safe– the game was hosted on its own website, so there were no other word games to distract me from staying on task. Only one word was available to play daily; to continue solving, knock-offs like the Globle, the Heardle, and even the Taylordle kept me busy. A maximum of five minutes were spent playing these word games, and this scarcity was beneficial to staying focused.

The addition of the Wordle to the New York Times Games sealed my fate as a word game fanatic.

Now, this isn't all bad. The vast collection of games the website offers has proven to be the best start to my day. Sure—financially, spending money to pay for a subscription to crossword puzzles isn't the most responsible choice. Yet, I can attest that, with this addition to my mornings, I've felt more productive, energized, and capable of taking on each day. Aside from the namesake puzzle, the Wordle, here are some of my favorite New York Times Word Games.

The Spelling Bee:

This game, at first glance, is intimidating. An array of seven letters is scrambled in a honeycomb pattern. The yellow letter in the middle of the screen is required; every word you make must include this letter. You are given unlimited time to construct words containing the given options. Based on your success, the game will rate you on your word-building skills. Make sure to be patient, and keep an eye out for the pangram of the day!

The Vertex:

The Vertex has quickly become my favorite game that the New York Times has to offer. Similar to connect the dots, the game gives you a collection of typically 100-200 circles, each with a number on them. The number represents the number of connections each dot hosts. To solve a riddle (usually a punny take on the picture the dots reveal), you make triangles until the picture becomes clear. If you're looking for a mindless, satisfying game to start your day, the Vertex is an excellent choice.

The Mini Crossword:

If you're not convinced you should buy the subscription at this point in the review, you're in luck with the Mini Crossword! This game is accessible to everyone, regardless of whether you are subscribed. As a fan of the Mini and the Crossword, I appreciate that the Mini gives you a chance to complete the game without spending 20 minutes filling out the more massive version. I like competing against myself and my friends to try to beat my record time. Like Wordle, this game is a quick way to energize myself in the morning without spending more than 5 minutes on the game.

Whether you are a dedicated player or just play the Wordle for fun, hopefully you've learned about a few of the many games the New York Times has to offer. I encourage anyone to play; the games are perfect for a slow morning, a rainy day, or any time you need a quick pick-me-up.

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