The Student Voice of North Allegheny Senior High School

The Uproar

The Student Voice of North Allegheny Senior High School

The Uproar

The Student Voice of North Allegheny Senior High School

The Uproar


The New York Times word games are experiencing a surge in popularity at NASH.
Ruby Morris
Many NASH students attempt to solve daily puzzles from the New York Times.

Recently, the incessant tapping on NASH junior and senior phones may have less to do with social media than you would think. More and more students are playing mobile word games hosted by The New York Times.

I try to remember to play the puzzles every single day,” junior Kaitlyn Zeman said. “I attempt to win all eight games.”

The Times launched their now-famous crossword puzzle in 1942, but it wasn’t for another 72 years until they released more word-centered logic puzzles, including Spelling Bee, Letter Boxed, Sudoku, Wordle, The Mini Crossword, Tiles, Vertex, and the most recent, Strands. Astoundingly, the puzzle and games were played over eight billion times last year.

Although the traditional crossword puzzle is inaccessible without a subscription to The Times, the mobile mini games are free, at least for now.

“I play Wordle and Connections rather than playing typical mobile games. It’s addicting to keep the streak every day,” senior Avery Richard said.

Students say that The New York Times’ games are a fun, yet challenging way to get their brains up to speed, typically in the mornings, during free time with friends.

I like to see how fast I can finish compared to my friends. It’s also a great form of entertainment during study halls.

— Gabbi Stegeman, NASH senior

Wordle was the first of the mobile games to surge in popularity. Created by Josh Wardle (clever name for his game, right?) in 2013, Wordle was not accessible to the public until October of 2021. The New York Times purchased the game in January of 2022.

Connections was released the following year.

“Out of all of the New York Times games, my favorite is Connections,” junior Natalia Troxler said. “I’m not the best at it, but I love seeing the insane categories they come up with every day.”

The Times released the beta-test of Strands to the public on March 4th of this year. Players are given what appears to be a word search and must find seven to eight words that all match today’s theme. If they guess four words that are unrelated to the topic, there is an option to get a hint, so some of the difficulty is taken away.

“I like how Strands is actually challenging,” junior Riya Moharil said. “For me, the other games are too easy. Strands makes me think more.” 

Another popular game among NASH students is the Mini Crossword. Players are given a 5×5 grid with topics in every row and column, and are timed as soon as they open the puzzle. Often, the Mini Crossword can grow competitive, especially for senior Gabbi Stegeman.

“I like to see how fast I can finish compared to my friends,” Stegeman said. “It’s also a great form of entertainment during study halls.”

For senior Lauren Burks, however, there is one friend in particular who brings out her competitive side, especially with Connections and Wordle.

“Evie Disque texts me her score just about every day,” she said, “and then I try to beat her.”

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About the Contributor
Fiona Engel
Fiona Engel, Staff Writer
Fiona is a Junior at NASH and this is her first year writing for The Uproar. She loves music, concerts, traveling, Converse, and cats.

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