You know what’s fun? Worlde.
You know what isn’t fun? Failing Wordle.
I see it all the time – folks exhaust all 6 of their guesses, and take to social media in frustration. Heck, shortly after New York Times bought Wordle, there were numerous complaints that they’d made it harder as salty people took to Twitter to voice their displeasure.
Well, struggle no longer! I’ve assembled 4 tips that can help you become a Wordle wiz.
1. Always Start With the Same 3 Words
I know this advice is going to sound crazy, but hear me out.
Opening with the same words every day gives you a consistent starting point. You have a negligible chance of correctly guessing the Wordle of the day on your first attempt. Instead, it’s better to start with a set of words that you’ve strategically chosen to help you narrow down what the Wordle is.
For me those 3 words are as follows: merit, sound, and black.
Why did I choose those words? Simple: they cover 15 unique letters, and all 5 vowels from the alphabet. That’s more than half of the available letters, so there’s an extremely high possibility that you’ll get several yellow, or green matches. In fact, those 3 words always returned at least 1 match throughout the entirety of 2022. Knowing what letters are, and aren’t still in play is crucial for narrowing down which word you’re searching for, so going through half of the alphabet with your first three guesses is always a great start.
2. Consider Common Letter Pairings and Positions
Our starting 3 words don’t just cover off a lot of common letters: they also tell us about common letter pairs, and positions. This is almost more important information than knowing which letters are in play. To prove my point, here are a few examples.
We can indirectly figure out if Q is in play by guessing a word that contains U (in this case sound). This is because Q is always followed by U in English words. The only exception is when Q is in the final position of word. There are only 3 words in the English language that are 5 letters long, and end with a Q though, so if U isn’t a match, then Q likely isn’t a match either.
Checking for all 5 vowels helps to determine the likelihood of Y being an applicable letter. If all 5 vowels fail to return a match then we know a Y has to be in the word. Words like crypt, and glyph are great examples of this. Y is also a common letter at the end of words, which is important to consider when you’re trying to formulate your guesses.
It’s also important to remain mindful of common pairings like ea, ie, er, or, th, ch, and ph. There are a lot of 5 letter English words that bunch these letters together, so choosing words that help to detect these patterns can be a huge win.
English is a language full of patterns. Keeping those in mind can do more to help you narrow down which words are, and aren’t still applicable than simply considering which letters you’ve matched.
3. Don’t Discount Duplicates
I think the biggest mistake I see is people ignoring the possibility that there is a duplicate letter in the Wordle. No one wants to double up on letters because that feels like a waste, but they’ll ignore entire words because of it. Don’t let this happen to you!
I almost always guess a double letter word on my fourth guess, if there’s a possibility that the Wordle will have a duplicate. As an example, if I have a yellow match for T, E, and R then I will guess the word there. Alternatively, if I had M, and U as my only matches, then I’ll guess mummy on my fourth attempt.
There are far too many 5 letter English words to ignore the possibility that today’s Wordle has a duplicate. Always be mindful of it, and spend the guess proving a duplicate isn’t possible, instead of assuming it isn’t.
4. Use a Scrabble Dictionary
Okay – listen. I know some of you are going to insist this is cheating, but let me make my case.
Has there ever been a time where you didn’t know the word that was used as the Wordle of the day? Did you spend 20 minutes starring at your phone, unable to work out exactly what combination of letters you needed for your answer? Did you just throw together a bunch of random letter until you eventually bumbled into pleat?
This is nonsense.
I’m sorry, but if you’re playing Wordle then you’re only a few taps away from an online dictionary. There is never a reason that you should start throwing random letters together hoping to stumble into joist. Doubly so when you can simply check a dictionary, and expand your vocabulary in the process.
It’s not like the dictionary just hands you the answer either. You’re still responsible for identifying which words are, and aren’t possible based on your matches, and common letter patterns. Using a dictionary doesn’t take the thought out of deducing the daily Wordle, but it does remove the frustration of not knowing the word that you’re looking for.
Hopefully these tips empower your ability to play Wordle. I’ve personally been following them religiously, and haven’t failed Wordle yet. There’s certainly been a few close calls though. Best of luck out there.
I don’t play Wordle, but I do love seeing such an elaborate meta for a seemingly-straightforward game. 🙂
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It doesn’t matter how simple the game is – I will, invariably, find some way to metagame the heck out of it hahaha
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