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Wordle it be

Kathy Werner
Posted 9/30/22

 By now, the entire world is familiar with Wordle.  It is a brilliantly simple word game created by programmer Josh Wardle for his partner. Wardle, Wordle- see what he did there? It was …

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Wordle it be


By now, the entire world is familiar with Wordle.  It is a brilliantly simple word game created by programmer Josh Wardle for his partner. Wardle, Wordle — see what he did there? It was free for a while, but Wardle sold it to The New York Times for about $3 million. 

 Wardle has said he was happy to sell the game because he didn’t want to spend his time dealing with the legalities of all the rip-off versions that began to proliferate. 

It works like this: the player must determine which five-letter word is the Wordle in six tries or fewer.  You put your word in the boxes, hit enter, and then the boxes flip over to let you know what you got right.  Correct letters are yellow; correct letters in the correct spaces are green.  Incorrect letters are gray. Using this information, you make your series of guesses until you have figured out the word (or gotten totally aggravated trying). 

There are many strategies out there.  I like to use ADIEU as my first word and STORY as my second word every day.  That lets me find out what vowels are in the word. D, S, T, and R are oft-used consonants, as anyone who watches Wheel of Fortune can tell you, so it’s good to know if they appear. 

I usually need to write down all the possibilities on paper to get a handle on what words are possible.  There are only so many 5-letter words in English, yet sometimes the Wordle answer is a head-shaker. 

Just last week PARER was the Wordle. PARER?  I tried PAPER and PAVER to no avail and then ran out of turns.  TRICE was another recent stumper, which I somehow figured out. But PARER? No dice. 

For me, the key is finding out what vowels are involved and where they belong.  Of course, sometimes letters can be repeated (see PARER) within a word, making things a bit tricky. 

Today I played Wordle thusly:  I began with ADIEU and the U went yellow.  My next try was STORY, and the S was yellow and the R was green! U, S, and R in the fourth place.  My next try was well-intentioned but not careful. I tried USURY. I was happy to see that the first four letters were green, but I had already determined that Y was not in the mix, so it was silly of me to use it again.  The only other word it could be was USURP and in four turns I had solved it. 

If you are a fan of word games, I encourage you to try Wordle. It’s on the New York Times website but is not behind a paywall (meaning it is free to play).  I am hoping the Times keeps it free, as Mr. Wardle did. 

There is only one word per day, which is also nice. It’s not a great time commitment, and it’s fun to compare my scores with my sisters every day.   

 I’m praying for the day when the actual Wordle word is ADIEU. Getting it in one try—what are the odds?


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