The world may not need another piece of writing about Wordle, the best way to solve a word puzzle, right now.
A straightforward word guessing game is Wordle. In six tries, you must correctly guess a five-letter word.
The sheer volume of Wordle posts, particularly on TikTok, has irritated me. Although most of them are entertaining, I don’t believe they are very skilled at Wordle, and I believe many of them offer incorrect guidance and poor examples.
Although I make no claims to be the best in the world at Wordle, the following are my performance statistics:
It was definitely sheer luck if you were successful on your first or second try. It shows skill if you succeed on your third or fourth attempt. I propose that the metric used to evaluate Wordle players be the proportion of Wordles they correctly solve in their first four guesses.
So, what is my method?
IRATE and SOUND are the terms I almost always begin with. Ten of the eleven most frequent letters in five-letter words are covered, along with the five vowels. ADIEU has four vowels, so I’ve used it before, but D is a less common consonant. As a plural term would always be simple to use to test for a “S” later, I used to use CLOUD as my second word after IRATE. However, since “S” is so prevalent, it really needs to be in the first two syllables.
If you haven’t played, the green “E” indicates that there is a “E” there. The orange “R” and “U” indicate that those characters are present in the word but not where I had intended. None of the extra letters I thought of are in the right word.
Rarely do these first two lines provide enough clues to permit a reliable estimate at the third line. I define a “good guess” as having no more than two or three words that could possibly describe the information at hand.
There is no point in selecting a word with a “E” at the end for the third line. We can utilise that location because we already know that is accurate.to check a different letter. Therefore, we’re looking for a word with a “R” in a position other than the second and a “U” in a position other than the third, as well as other common letters we haven’t yet attempted. What letters are considered common? As shown in the list and graph below:
What term do you anticipate using next?
The U and R, which we know are somewhere in the word LURCH, can be identified by guessing where they are. The seventh, eleventh, and sixteenth most frequent letters—“L,” “C,” and “H”—are also tested.
It wasn’t much of a help. The good news is that, although we did not add any new letters, we do know that “U” is the second letter and that “R” must now either be the first or fourth letter. I only had three hits after tried 13 different letters. I suspect that one of the correct letters happens more than once given the poor success rate.
No words that would conclude with U X R E (where “X” is an unknown letter) came to mind. This led me to believe that the letter “R” was most likely the first one. R UXXE would therefore be the term. I considered the word could finish in a double “E” because two consonants between the vowels looked unusual. RUPEE, the Indian currency, was the only term that could be thought of. I wasn’t entirely sure, but it made sense in light of what I already knew, tried a new letter, and, it seemed with guesswork, would determine whether there was more than one “E”.
I was quite happy to learn that RUPEE was the right response!
A few extra tips:
Keep in mind that Wordle employs American spelling for words like HONOUR, COLOUR, and so forth.
Simple plurals like “BOATS” will never be the right response. However, you can check if the solution word has a “S” by using BOATS or other plural terms.
The New York Times will refrain from using terms like “SLAVE” or “LYNCH” that may offend some Americans.
Here are a few more instances of my approach in action:
After reading the first two lines, I knew the word comprised the letters “R,” “T,” “O,” and “N,” but none were where I had predicted they would be. When trying various letter combinations, “ORN” appeared to be a promising candidate for the word’s final letter. It made sense to place it in the middle since it included just one vowel. It made sense to place “TH” first. It tested one new letter and used all the letters I needed to use in possible correct locations. Although it turned out to be accurate, even if it hadn’t, it would still have been highly useful in determining where each of the known letters should go.
The first two words made it clear to me that there was a “D” at the end and a “I” somewhere other than in first place. So, “CHIMP” was my assumption. The word “I” checks four new and somewhat frequent letters, and if “I” is the lone vowel it should go in the middle. The “I” wasn’t in the middle, and none of the new letters helped. There must be identical letters because I tried 14 different letters and only got two hits. I had to choose between trying “Y” or adding a second “I” because I wanted another vowel sound. I guessed “LIVID” by choosing “I” for the second and fourth letters, and “D” for the last letter. While the rest was accurate, the “L” was incorrect. The only choice left was to presume there were two “V”s and two “I”s after that! The New York Times was a little cruel with that!
The official “Wordle” can only be completed once each day, however there is a non-official “Wordle Archive” that you can use to test and refine your tactics without affecting your statistics. Here’s an example of how to “Wordle” incorrectly:
The Wordle Archive has a somewhat changed appearance, but the guidelines remain the same. My initial estimate had three letters in the right spots. How many “XRAXE” words are possible, where “X” stands for the unidentified letters? I gave up on my plan in the hopes of figuring it out in two. Additionally, after discovering two vowels, I decided against using “SOUND” as my next word because it seems improbable that the answer would contain any additional vowels. It took a while to get the correct response because each guess only examined two new letters. I would have discovered that the word contained a “D” in either the first or fourth position if I had adhered to my system. I would have solved the Wordle in three or four lines without making the guesses CRAZE, FRAME, or BRAKE. Instead, I would have gone directly to either DRAPE or GRADE.