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How Every Developer Knew All The Wordle Answers From Day One

When you’re a developer, you get used to right-clicking on things. Whether it’s a design element you just need to know the css for or a tasty nugget of information that’s just south of a website’s subscription request, right clicking is the digital equivalent of popping open the hood to see what’s underneath. Once you’ve realized the power it adds to your internet browsing, it can become as transformative a tool as cutting and pasting.

My wife was in just this mindset when she first started playing Wordle. A seemingly simple word game that had taken the world by storm, but how exactly did it work? Luckily, she knew the answer was just a right click a way, although that wasn’t the only answer she found.

As it turns out, Wordle has one main javascript file, helpfully named main.js. Inside is the inner workings of the application for anybody who wants to see how it works, but smack dab in the middle, for any curious eyes to see, is the answers to all past and future puzzles laid out neatly in an array (not even minified!). This would be a huge security flaw, say if this was a government site storing teacher’s social security numbers, but in the case of a New York Times word puzzle, perhaps this is just the digital equivalent of printing the answers at the bottom of the page upside down, and trusting your readers not to peek.

Security was probably not high up on the list of concerns of Wordle’s programmer, Josh Wardle, who famously programmed the whole internet sensation as a gift to his significant other, but storing any kinds of data directly in javascript files is generally frowned upon. Still it just goes to show you that there are countless secrets hidden in “plain site” all over the internet for those who are savvy enough to know where to look. The answers you’re looking for could be a mere right-click away!

(Just don’t look at our code, I swear we’re clean)

[Feature photo by Josh Wardle (website/game), Berrely (vectorizing) – Screenshot of https://www.powerlanguage.co.uk/wordle/ — wikipedia/public domain]

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Rio Roth-Barreiro

Rio is a web developer and cartoonist that likes making things both digitally and with pen and paper

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