I have a new morning ritual. I wake up, feed the cat, make coffee and settle in for oodles of -ordles to start my day.
It starts with Wordle.
Wordle is a word game created by software engineer Josh Wardle to entertain himself and his girlfriend. Don’t you love those people who take time out from nerdy jobs to write nerdy games? Anyways, he shared his game with his friends who shared it with theirs and then theirs until it became a viral sensation. Millions of people started playing wordle. It got TV famous and millions more started playing. Then The New York Times bought it for millions of dollars.
What is Wordle ?
Wordle is a 5-letter word game played online. Each day a new word is released and players have six tries to guess the word. Guess the right letter in the right position and the word tile turns green. Guess the right letter in the wrong position and the word tile turns yellow. Guess a wrong letter and the keyboard tile turns grey.
Why is it so popular?
For such a simple game, it’s hard to say why it became a sensation. Maybe because it is so simple? For me it’s less than a one-coffee activity. Just enough to spark my brain fugue and jumpstart my day.
One problem. It is a one-coffee activity and I normally have two coffees in the morning.
So, I found the wordle spin-offs.
Dordle is double Wordle requiring you to solve two puzzles at the same time. The game is a bit harder but it gives you an extra turn with seven instead of six tries.
Quordle is double Dordle with four words to guess in nine tries
Octordle is double Quordle with eight words to guess in thirteen tries.
Is Wordle hard?
Wordle games get easier the more I do it. It helps to have a few magic words to flush out vowels and letter positions. Good starting words are key tools for wordle-fans. The best ones have essential vowels and letters in common configurations.
True to the origins of the game, mathematicians have identified the words most likely to flush out wins. According to this article, the best starting word to win quickly (in less than 4 tries) is SLICE, while the best word to win (in less than 6) is ADEPT.
For me, using the same starting word takes away from the challenge. As I often tell my coffee companion and erstwhile wordle competitor, “the challenge is in the journey, not the destination!”
I always start wordle with the answer to yesterday’s wordle. Unfortunately, I never remember it. As soon as I solve a puzzle, I forget it. Poof! It’s as if I never typed it. Luckily there’s a website that keeps track of yesterday’s wordle. Ain’t the internet wonderful?
There are some idiosyncrasies in the game. Understandable ones, like using American spelling and slang. COLOUR is spelt COLOR (which as a Canadian, I understand) and FOREGO is spelt FORGO (which even as Canadian, I do not.) There have been questionable words like TWIXT, sneaky words like UNFED and uncommon words like BIOME.
I’ve learned a few new words in this game. Some like TORUS and SYNOD, I can’t imagine ever using in real life. Others, I have to make up an excuse to use. Words like SCHWA which is not only a word but a letter too. Plus, it’s a fun word to say.
Do you play wordle or any of its variants? Maybe you’re a Absurdle fan ? What’s your favorite starter word?