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Wordle from The New York Times

Wordle ’round the family for FREE!

SPL joins KCLS to expand family access to Washington Post and NYT — including games

Games, words, and stories are a form of love in my family.

When we gather in masse for holiday or birthday celebrations, meals inevitably end in a game around the table (imagine that with 10 to 20 adults and kids!) And in the mornings, you’ll find us — no matter what age — pouring over the New York Times crossword puzzles and our newest favorites, Spelling Bee and the Times’ Wordle.

The latter is a game with six chances to guess a 5-letter word. When my kids were in elementary school and couldn’t possibly know an answer to a crossword puzzle hint, they’d send adults rolling to the floor with creative, made-up answers. Most NYT games are accessible to and fun for tweens and teens. Late elementary kids who love words will enjoy Wordle and Spelling Bee.

Helping families save subscription costs

The fun and games have come at a cost — anywhere between $52 and $300 a year for one subscription. So imagine our thrill to learn that Seattle Public Library (SPL) has added several new subscriptions to their public access portal in late December, including our favorite, access to the games we love. 

Library cardholders now have 24/7 online access to an expanded New York Times subscription that includes NYT Cooking, Games, the Athletic, and Wirecutter. (HINT: If you are looking to purchase just about any product, but especially electronic games and tech items, during the holidays, Wirecutter is a truly useful resource for comparisons. 

The library also now offers full access to the Washington Post and the Wall Street Journal.

Joining KCLS in increasing access

The the addition of the full access subscriptions, the SPL has joined King County Library System (KCLS) in expanding local access to key national news and entertainment resources. The county library system has offered almost full access to the NYT and Washington Post for some time. The KCLS subscription to NYT includes access to The Athletic, New York Times Cooking, and New York Times Games. It does not incude access to Wirecutter.

A big win for a family of story sharers

That’s a triple boon for our family. Beyond games, we are newspaper readers, NPR junkies, and information sharers. The parents, kids, cousins, aunts, and grandparents in our clan regularly share articles to inspire, inform, warm, and make each other laugh. When my son was younger, and a school report was due, we started with three sources: The Seattle Times, The New York Times, and our dusty old and out-of-date edition of Encyclopedia Britannica (also now online). We regularly read the central non-financial feature story on the front page of the Wall Street Journal out loud around our dinner table (always a deep and fascinating read).

“We are delighted to add subscriptions that our patrons are very interested in,” said Kirk Blankenship, Selection Services librarian at The Seattle Public Library, in a recent release. “It’s easy to sign in, and you can access the content for several days at a time.”

Get a card or use student access

The new full-access SPL subscriptions are available through the Magazines and Newspapers section of the library website, which also includes full-text access to many other newspapers and periodicals, including the Seattle Times.

To access any subscriptions, you need a Library card (apply online in just a few minutes) or a Library Link account, available for Seattle Public Schools teachers and students. 

New subscriptions details

Here are the details about these additions and how to access them:

  • New York Times expanded access: The Library’s online subscription to the New York Times now includes other popular sections of the site, including: NYT Cooking, unlimited access to thousands of recipes; NYT Games, with Wordle, Spelling Bee, Letter Boxed, crosswords and more; The Athletic, featuring daily, award-winning sports journalism; and Wirecutter, the Times’ product recommendation service. To access the New York Times online, when at a Library location, you can connect directly through a Library computer or WiFi. If logging in remotely, connect through the Library website to get an access code that’s good for 72 hours. You can also connect through the app.
  • Wall Street Journal online (WSJ): Library cardholders now have unlimited access to WSJ online content available through the publication’s website and app. As with the New York Times, if you’re in a Library location using library computers or WiFi, you can connect directly to the newspaper website. If logging in remotely, connect through the Library’s website to receive a three-day pass. When the pass expires, you may acquire a new pass through the library website.
  • Washington Post online (WAPo): Similar to the other newspapers, you can connect directly to the WaPo website while using a Library computer or WiFi, or log in remotely through the Library’s website for a seven-day pass. When the pass expires, you may acquire a new pass through the library website.

For students researching school projects or assignments, Seattle Public Library offers a wealth of resources, including its online Magazines and Newspapers section with thousands of other current and historic magazines and newspapers, including full-text access to the current Seattle Times as well as historical archives dating back to 1895, and our Flipster magazine collection. The system includes articles from thousands of current international magazines and newspapers in more than 60 languages for free.

Let the texts begin!

What does the new free access mean to my large extended family? It means, at least in the Seattle area, we can now play our own rounds of Wordle rather than gather around one phone due to subscription costs! I can already see the score announcements flying through texts each morning. We’re a competitive bunch.

Need help? Contact the Library’s Ask Us service by phone at 206-386-4636 or by email or chat at

Read more:

How to spell student success? PUBLIC LIBRARIES

Cool Puget Sound libraries to check out with kids

11 interesting games to play with your kids

Best family games for gifts or games nights

About the Author

Cheryl Murfin

Cheryl Murfin is managing editor at Seattle's Child. She is also a certified doula, lactation educator for and a certified AWA writing workshop facilitator at