What you read

The year began with a love story. Josh Wardle’s partner was a fan of word puzzles, so he created a guessing game for the two of them and called it “Wordle,” a play on his last name. On Jan. 3, a Times article by Daniel Victor brought Wardle’s creation to the wider world. You probably know the rest.
The story about the origins of Wordle, and the bot that helped us master the game, are two of The Times’s most-read articles of 2022. As we have in years past, The Morning has put together a collection of the year’s most popular stories. Some of them were impossible to miss — royal funerals, wars, shootings. But others might surprise you. There are celebrity profiles, engaging mysteries, as well as stories about the body and the mind.


We used a few criteria to capture the breadth of what you were reading. In the most-read section, we omitted later entries that repeated a story line, as well as features like election results pages. The deep engagement list includes some of the articles with which readers spent the most time this year.
And we introduce a new section this year: the most gift-shared. These were the stories that readers unlocked the most this year (subscribers can share 10 links a month outside of the paywall), and the list captures an important but often overlooked part of the news — not the stories that you need to read, but those that you want others to read.


The most read

World mourns Queen Elizabeth II, Britain’s bastion of stability. (Sept. 8)


Shooting at elementary school devastates community in South Texas. (May 24)
Ukrainian officials report missile attacks in Kyiv. (Feb. 24)


Police search for gunman in attack on Brooklyn subway. (Apr. 12)
Flooding and power outages grow as Ian moves inland. (Sept. 28)


An old medicine grows new hair for pennies a day, doctors say. (Aug. 18)
Ivana Trump, ex-wife of Donald Trump and businesswoman, dies at 73. (July 14)


Thousands protest end of constitutional right to abortion. (June 24)
Wordle is a love story. (Jan. 3)


Will Smith apologizes to Chris Rock after Academy condemns his slap. (Mar. 28)
Ana Belén Pintado as a young girl.Lydia Metral for The New York Times. Source photograph from Ana Belén Pintado.


Deep engagement

Taken under fascism, Spain’s “stolen babies” are learning the truth. (Sept. 27)


The dissenters trying to save Evangelicalism from itself. (Feb. 4)
Ken Auletta finally wrote the Harvey Weinstein story he wanted to tell. (July 7)


Vanished in the Pacific. (Nov. 27)
The judge and the case that came back to haunt him. (Nov. 21)


Tom Stoppard finally looks into his shadow. (Sept. 7)
A messy table, a map of the world. (May 8)


The life and death of Daniel Auster, a son of literary Brooklyn. (July 27)
Willie Nelson’s long encore. (Aug. 17)


Whoopi Goldberg will not shut up, thank you very much. (Sept. 28)

The most gift-shared


Wordlebot: Improve your Wordle strategy.
Billionaire no more: Patagonia founder gives away the company. (Sept. 14)


Can you pass the 10-second balance test? (Aug. 12)
At N.Y.U., students were failing organic chemistry. Who was to blame? (Oct. 3)


Maps: Tracking the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
Half the world has a clitoris. Why don’t doctors study it? (Oct. 17)


The root of Haiti’s misery: reparations to enslavers. (May 20)
A neurologist’s tips to protect your memory. (July 6)


The default tech settings you should turn off right away. (July 27)
How simple exercises may save your lower back. (Feb. 25)