Could Wordle — the simple yet wildly popular five-letter word game — be putting DC’s brainpower to shame? According to a new study by WordFinderX, it is. Cheating on Wordle is at an all-time high, according to the study, and Washingtonians are some of the worst offenders.
If you have somehow escaped the Wordle craze and don’t know how it works, users have six attempts to guess each day’s secret word, but for some DC players, that’s proven a bit too challenging. In the lineup of guilty parties, the District ranks fourth when reviewing data from Google Trends for the search “today’s Wordle”—which, yes, could be how some find the game but also leads to sites that reveal the word of the day. Besides DC, here are the states with the most searches, in order:
- New Hampshire
- Rhode Island and Vermont (tied)*
- Washington, DC
The study also says that “swill” and “caulk,” two recent Wordle answers, outwitted New Hampshire and Rhode Island the most, respectively, while the word that tripped up DC was “tacit,” with its tricky bookending “T’s.”
Interestingly, according to WordFinderX—a site that, ironically, helps players solve anagrams—searching for the day’s Wordle answer skyrocketed after The New York Times bought the game in January. Around that same time, many online players began accusing the Times of jacking up the game’s difficulty—pointing to “cynic,” “caulk,” and “aroma” as presumed evidence. However, the paper “categorically” denies making the game harder. The rise in cheating could simply mirror the game’s rising popularity.
Still, that doesn’t explain why Wordle deceit ranks so high in DC. Could it be that the city attracts bookish logophiles and is simply home to more Wordlers? Could it be that the city attracts large egos who will do anything to improve their stats and keep streaks alive? Or could it be that word games just aren’t the city’s strong suit?
Regardless of the reason, WordFinderX reported that Wordle cheaters were most likely to look up the answer between 7 and 8 a.m. So, on your next morning commute, take a look around you—there could be a Wordle cheater in your midst.
* This story has been corrected since its original posting. The article originally said that Rhode Island was tied with Virginia for second place, but it is Rhode Island and Vermont that were tied for second.