Wordle players should try this new daily puzzle from the New York Times

A number puzzle
(Image credit: New York Times)

If you're a Wordle player, you may want to check out a new daily puzzle being tested this week at The New York Times. This puzzle is about numbers, not letters—but perhaps hoping to strike gaming gold again, the color scheme will look very familiar to Wordle players. 

Yep, the beta of the new game features that same alluring shade of green that Wordle uses to let you know you've gotten a letter in the right place. After a year or so of playing Wordle I feel like I've been trained to get a little rush from seeing that color. Smart move, NYT! You've already got me hooked.

The new daily number puzzle game is called, appropriately enough, Digits, and the rules are pretty simple to grasp. You've given a target number, along with six other numbers you need to combine to reach that target. You can add, subtract, multiply, or divide those six numbers as you attempt to reach the target, and you don't need to use all the numbers to solve the puzzle.

In Digits you're given five daily puzzles each day, with each being more challenging than the last. In today's first puzzle, the target is 55, and the numbers you're given are 1, 2, 4, 5, 10, and 25. A good place to start would be 5 x 10, which gives you 50. From there, I'm guessing you can easily reach the target of 55 with your next move. 

But after that appetizer, the puzzles quickly get harder. Luckily, like Wordle, you don't have to nail it on the first try. You can undo your guesses and try again if you don't hit the target number exactly.

This type of number puzzle will look familiar if you've ever seen the television show Countdown—and you may have because it's been on for over 40 years in the UK and has had nearly 8,000 episodes (plus a comedy spinoff which is far more fun). 

In the New York Times blog post about Digits, Countdown is cited as an inspiration, along with a French show called Des Chiffres et des Lettres. I haven't seen the French show, but in the numbers rounds in Countdown, contestants are given a three digit number and have to use six other numbers to reach it, by multiplying, dividing, subtracting, and adding. That's Digits, pretty much.

Digits puzzle example"

You can try Digits during its beta test this week. As for if it will be permanently added to the roster, that's gonna depend on how people respond to it. "Based on the results of the test, the greenlight committee decides whether to move it into the development phase, where the game is coded and the designs are finalized," says The New York Times. "If the response to the game isn’t what the team is hoping for, the committee must decide whether further tuning would be helpful or if the development of the game should end." 

Christopher Livingston
Senior Editor

Chris started playing PC games in the 1980s, started writing about them in the early 2000s, and (finally) started getting paid to write about them in the late 2000s. Following a few years as a regular freelancer, PC Gamer hired him in 2014, probably so he'd stop emailing them asking for more work. Chris has a love-hate relationship with survival games and an unhealthy fascination with the inner lives of NPCs. He's also a fan of offbeat simulation games, mods, and ignoring storylines in RPGs so he can make up his own.