It Seems Like a Lot of You Are Cheating at Wordle: Study

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The jig is up — we know you're cheating on your daily Wordle.

Or, at least, it would certainly appear that a growing number of people have been looking online for answers to the popular five-letter word guessing game — possibly to avoid putting a stop to a winning streak.

That's according to a recent study by Wordfinderx, a reference website for word games like Wordle and Scrabble, which used Google Trends data to determine that Google searches for the answer to Wordle's daily puzzle have nearly tripled ever since The New York Times acquired Wordle in January.

The study found that searches for Feb. 15's "AROMA" and Feb. 19's "SWILL" daily Wordle solutions reached a 100 out of 100 on Google's search popularity scale, which compares search results on a topic and then rates them on a scale of 0 to 100 "based on a topic's proportion to all searches on all topics," according to Google.

In comparison, Jan. 4's "SIEGE" only reached a 1 on the same scale, while searches for the daily Wordle solution never topped 60 on Google's scale prior to The New York Times' purchase of the game on Jan. 31.

In other words, based on the Google search trends, more and more people are turning to the internet for help solving their daily Wordle puzzle.

Players have complained that Wordle has become more difficult to solve since it was acquired by The New York Times. However, there's been no real evidence to back up that theory, as multiple publications have pointed out. In fact, The New York Times has, so far, only removed some words from the list of possible solutions while actually replacing some harder words with easier ones, like swapping out "AGORA" for "AROMA".

A simpler, perhaps more plausible, explanation for the uptick in players resorting to looking up the Wordle solution online could be that there are just more and more people playing the game.

Wordle has generated a lot of buzz since it launched in late 2021 and then quickly went viral at the start of the new year. The total number of daily Wordle players jumped from 300,000 in January into the millions by February, with no signs of slowing down yet. Psychologists previously told CNBC Make It that the quick, daily game offers a "bite-sized amount of fun" and it pulls in players by giving them something to look forward to every day.

Harder or not, there are still certain Wordle solutions that have perplexed players more than others, according to the Wordfinderx study, which found that "SWILL" and "AROMA" were the recent words that inspired the most players to cheat by looking up the answers online.

The study also found New Hampshire had more Wordle cheaters than any other state, with "SWILL" being the word most likely to frustrate residents of the Granite State. Interestingly, a separate study by another word game resource called WordTips found that New Hampshire was among the fastest U.S. states at solving Wordle, with Portsmouth, New Hampshire ranking 8th among U.S. cities with the most efficient Wordle players.

Rhode Island and Vermont tied for second place, with players there searching the most on days when "CAULK" and "TACIT" were the Wordle solutions.

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