The puzzle game's creator says it got bigger than he ever imagined.

Josh Wardle just made a bunch of 🔲🔲🔲🔲🔲.

If you guessed "money," you just solved the puzzle. The creator of the viral online word game Wordle announced Monday on Twitter that he has "reached an agreement with The New York Times for them to take over running Wordle going forward."

While Wardle has been "in awe of the response from everyone that has played" the game since he launched it in October, the phenomenon has also "gotten bigger than [he] ever imagined," hence the New York Times deal.

The NYT reported that Wordle sold for a price "in the low seven figures." For now the game will remain free to new and existing players.

| Credit: Alexi Rosenfeld/Getty Images

"The Times remains focused on becoming the essential subscription for every English-speaking person seeking to understand and engage with the world," the company said in a statement. "New York Times Games are a key part of that strategy."

Serving up one puzzle a day, Wordle gives players half a dozen chances to guess a random five-letter word, aided by color-coded clues.

Wardle, a software engineer in Brooklyn, said in a Times interview earlier this month that he created the game for himself and his partner, Palak Shah, after they "got really into" the paper's daily crossword puzzle and Spelling Bee game during the pandemic.

It took off quickly, especially after a feature added in December allowed players to easily share their results on social media by exporting them in a grid of gray, yellow, and green emoji squares.

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