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Let’s Wordle!

Let’s us start talking about love in today’s scenario of fight and terror. It is said that love can move the mountains. We have seen the example of ‘The TajMahal’ in India and there are various stories where people promise plucking moon and stars for the sake of love.

Coming straight to the point, I wanted to cite Josh Wardle as the latest example. He has developed something called ‘Wordle’, a web-based word game. And now the world is hooked on to it. It is said that around ninety players attempted this interesting ‘guess logically’ word game on November 1, 2021, the early days when it appeared in The New York Times (NYT). This number skyrocketed to over 300,000 on January 2, 2022 and to over 2 million a week later.

I too joined the league and found it really interesting. Though at times, it appears tempting, I have restricted the daily dose to the one that appears daily in the NYT that has a single solution which everyone attempts to uncover. Let me share my diary notes with you.

For some reason, Josh Wardle wanted the world to guess a five letter word in six tries. So, we have a grid of boxes having five columns and six rows. There also appears an alphabetical keyboard, similar to that on our mobiles for enabling us type the text.

When we start with the first guess, the alphabets in the keyboard turn green, yellow or gray based on the presence of the letters in the guessed word. If the letter is present and appears in the correct position, it is turned green. If the letter is present in the answer word but not at the correct position, it turns yellow. If none of the alphabet of the guessed word is present in the answer word, all of them turn gray.

For example, the answer word for the below Wordle is SHAKE

First guess:

I always try a different word for the first guess daily which has at least two vowels. Though it is wise to use words with three vowels such as ADIEU, MEDIA, ORATE, RADIO etc. The word ORATE is more scientifically backed to try for the first guess. But to make it more adventurous I tried RINSE. The letters ‘E’ and ‘S’ were common between RINSE and SHAKE. The letter ‘E’ was at correct place, so it turned green but the position of letter ‘S’ was not correct so it turned yellow.

Second guess:

Many players attempt the second guess with the common letters, I too do that but to explore more letters and also the possibility of another vowel, and I tried again a two vowel word BLOAT. Unfortunately only ‘A’ was common between BLOAT and SHAKE with ‘A’ being at the wrong place.  So it turned yellow. However, the gray letters gave the hint that at least these shall not appear in the answer word.

Third guess:

With ‘E’ at the fifth place (word ending with E) and ‘S’ and ‘A’ somewhere in the word, it was the time for the third guess. I assumed, if the word would start with ‘S’ there is more possibility of ‘A’ being at the third place. With this assumption, I tried SPADE. Fortunately the letters ‘S’, ‘A’ and ‘E’ found their correct places with these turning green. ‘P’ and ‘D’ made it to the gray list.

Fourth guess:

For the fourth guess, the selection of second letter was vital. ‘W’, ‘U’ and ‘H’ qualified for it based on the possible reach of my vocabulary.  Putting ‘H’ at the second place, SHAME became the obvious choice and possible correct answer. But, what the creators had in mind is the correct solution though our word may qualify. So, SHAME added green color to ‘H’ but was not the correct answer.

Final guess:

The final guess was an obvious SHAKE with fourth letter chosen amongst the available options. And that’s it! I could arrive to the answer sitting in this part of the world, what the creators had in their minds.

That’s how the logic works and by choosing a different first guess every day, we can make the guess work more challenging.  One can try for guessing the word of the day in three, two or even one go. But guessing the word in one and two attempts appears to be more magical or supernatural. The Wordle for some reason pats your back by exclaiming ‘Genius’, if you uncover the word in one try. It is impossible.

There are scenarios, where you keep your efforts in reading the creator’s mind by guessing logical words but it may end up exhausting your tries. For example the one mentioned below:

With all the vowels drained out in the first two tries except ‘I’, in the third try, it was easy to guess a word starting with ‘S’ having ‘I’ and ‘L’ in it. STILL fitted well but that was not the answer. Same was the case with SPILL in the fourth try and SKILL in the fifth one. But the creators had SWILL in their minds which finally was uncovered in the last guess.

Now there is one more catch. The letters can appear even twice in the solution. In the last example we had all the guesses STILL, SKILL, SPILL and SWILL with two ‘L’. This was comparatively better but if we see the example below, we may well appreciate the complexity.

There are cases where the guesses are logically obvious and easy to crack the answer. In the below mentioned example, though the first guess didn’t reveal any of the letters, it actually rules out five letters. With the second guess confirming the presence of three letters, ‘D’, ‘G’ and ‘E’ and fixing the position of ‘E’, it was easier to guess the word DODGE in the third try itself with the fact in mind that a letter can appear twice. It is to be noted that in the second guess, though ‘D’ was highlighted in yellow confirming the mismatch in its position, there was no clue or I can say no way to convey about ‘D’ being present twice in the answer.

The following failed one also is worth a look:

The following also got me caught between WOULD or COULD and wasted one extra guess though POUND did the damage control that FEAST created. I could enjoy feast with pound.

And this one was a googly for a person who at times started the first guess with POINT.  But for change this time my first guess was GOURD. But the second two vowel guess finally hinted that the answer could be POINT. I just refused to be called genius.

So guys, lets daily Wordle!!!