Regina man mistaken for Wordle inventor sends flood of emails, CNN interview request
At first, Josh Wardle thought that the text message from the American news channel CNN asking him for an interview was a scam.
After all, why is CNN’s flagship morning news program New day do you want to spend six minutes on the network’s prime time interviewing a 30-year-old equipment salesman from Regina?
Turns out the show’s producer wanted to interview Josh Wardle, but not the one who lives in Regina.
“He called and he said, ‘Hey, Josh, I’d like to congratulate you on Wordle’s success,’ and me being a little oblivious, the moment I was like, ‘Honestly, I have no idea what you are I’m talking about,” the man from Regina said.
What the CNN producer was talking about was a hugely popular new online word puzzle game invented by a certain Josh Wardle and named Wordle as a play on his name.
The puzzle is quite simple: once a day, players have six chances to guess a five-letter word of the day. Color coding within the five blocks gives players clues as to whether they have the correct letters.
Although it sounds basic, the game has hooked hundreds of thousands of people who visit the site every day to try and solve the latest puzzle, including Regina’s Jason Hammond.
“They only post one puzzle a day…so everyone gets to work on that puzzle and then you’re done,” said Hammond, who says his wife is also a Wordle addict.
“It’s kind of contrary to a lot of other things that we do in society. Right now it’s a very binge-worthy culture, where we watch Netflix and we binge Netflix and we binge social media feeds and we binge junk food and we binge everything these days.”
Wordle’s popularity has skyrocketed to the point that there are even fakes and malicious bots launched to try and spoil Wordle’s daily fun by giving the answer.
And it turns out that Regina’s Josh Wardle shares the same name as the elusive and creator of the little publicized game.
The Josh Wardle who invented Wordle lives in Brooklyn, NY, and invented the puzzle for his partner, who loves word games, he told The New York Times.
But now Regina’s Wardle has been inundated with emails and has seen searches for her name on LinkedIn surge by the hundreds as people try to locate the creator of Wordle.
A misguided investigation led CNN producer to the Regina Josh Wardle, rather than the Brooklyn Josh Wardle.
“I’m not [going to], but I’m getting to the point where I’ve seen enough articles saying people asked for feedback and got nothing for me to pick up the slack and see if I can escalate this a bit”, l man from Regina mentioned.
“Maybe I’ll reach out to him and somehow we can work out a mutual agreement that he can have all the secret fame and I’ll take center stage.”
Regina’s Wardle, who notes that her name is quite unique, hopes her 15 minutes of fame will be for something more than a case of mistaken identity.
“I feel like I have to do something…substantial because there’s a very good chance this will be the pinnacle of Josh Wardle’s name recognition,” he said.
“And at 30, having the peak of your name recognition is a bit of a depressing thought. So I feel like it just gave me the motivation to find my own thing to do and try to make a name.”
And if nothing else, Wardle has a new hobby – he started playing Wordle just to find out what it was all about.