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Gaming

Merriam-Webster just bought The Dark Souls Of Wordle Clones

A photo shows someone playing Quordle on their phone.

Photo: NurPhoto (Getty Images)

Quordle is one of the most popular and difficult word clone Outside. Instead of solving just one linguistic brain teaser a day, you have to solve four puzzles at once. And now it’s owned by Merriam-Webster, a dictionary company that seems to be shifting more and more from definitions to online games.

“I’m pleased to announce that Quordle has been acquired by @MerriamWebster,” said the game’s creator, Freddie Meyer, recently announced on Twitter. “I can’t think of a better home for this game. Lots of new features and fun are coming, so stay tuned!”

After the initial word the frenzy started to die down somewhat, with some veteran users looking for weirder and more challenging spin-offs. There is a mathematical variant called Nerdleone that keeps changing the answer Absurdand much, much more. Then there’s a whole subgenre of it word clones stacking more and more puzzles next to each other. Dordle did you solve two. Duotrigorge have you tried 32. On just four, Quordle has always felt like the “just right” Goldilocks quantity word masochism.

And now it belongs to Merriam-Webster. Meyer didn’t immediately disclose the exact dollar value of the sale, but it comes about a year later The New York Times bought the original word for a reportedly low seven-figure sum. The idea was for the media platform to grow its games section, an increasingly lucrative part of its business, even if it didn’t stick right away word behind a paywall.

Merriam-Webster, which is actually owned by Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc., itself controlled by Swiss investment banker Jacqui Safra, appears to be interested in a similar game. As PC gamer points out, the dictionary company turned online reference depot, already offers a number of other puzzle games, brain teasers and knowledge tests. It’s probably a better reason to visit the site than to look for the meaning of a word or synonym that Google will provide you directly from the competitor Oxford English Dictionary.

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