UPDATE: Wordle has been bought by The New York Times and will “initially remain free to new and existing players” once it moves over to the Times’ site. That said, The New York Times’ announcement leaves plenty of room for the company to put Wordle behind its paywall in the future.
Have you been bombarded by friends on your socials with a bunch of yellow/grey/green square icons – or maybe you’ve been doing it yourself – of a successful Wordle puzzle? Created by Josh Wardle during the pandemic for his word-puzzle aficionado wife, Wordle is the viral sensation at the moment because of its simplicity – it’s on a website, and not an app. There’s no ads, no in-game transactions, and it’s totally free to play.
If you’ve managed to avoid it, Wordle is a puzzle game where you have 6 chances to guess a 5-letter word of the day. There’s only one word released each day – the same one everyone around the world solves – at 8am. Once you’ve solved it, copy and paste the series of emoji on your socials.
Hilarious Wordle offshoots to try
If you’ve been playing it, or are already getting tired of it, you may want to try playing other versions of Wordle – they’re not official, but they’re definitely hilarious.
World-leh! tests your command of 5-letter Singlish words.
There’s Lewdle and Sweardle which – as you’ve guessed – use lewd words as their base (Sweardle uses four-letter swear words). Then there’s Queerdle which is a “yassified” Wordle, and also Absurdle which changes the word each time you submit a successful guess.
For pure word puzzle masochists, there’s “hello wordl” which is the same as Wordle, but you can play multiple times a day and change the length of the word you’re guessing.
The Wordle sharing and bragging
Naturally, any player will want to share any words they’ve guessed – especially when it’s solved in 3 tries or under.
Since it allows you to share your result spoiler-free, the competition is fierce (as you can see on social media, especially Twitter). The number of Wordle tweets increases 26% a day on average – some of it complaints, but usually they’re boasting high scores.
For those of us who use British spelling, take heed: Wordle was made in the US (the creator is based in Brooklyn) so the spelling will be in American English.
While most people can guess all the words so far, some words have had the world scratching their heads. The most recent tough one came out on Monday (24 Jan), and it trended on Twitter as “Wordle 219 X”.
As the world struggled with Wordle 219 X – the word was ‘knoll’ – players shared memes and hilarious tweets.
Twitter suspends spoiler bot
Since most people were sharing their results on Twitter, the platform has banned @wordlinator, a bot that replies to Wordle posts with rude messages plus spoilers for the next day’s word.
The game’s code was apparently easily accessible so it’s not really a surprise that the bot’s spoilers appeared to be accurate. Of course, even with this bot banned, there are plenty of other sources where spoilers abound.
Is there a strategy?
Some people use strategy to guess the words, and some use the same starter word. For instance, the word “share” includes the two most common vowels, “s” which is the third most common letter and most common final letter in English words, while “h” and “r” are common individually and even more common in consonant clusters.
However, most people simply guess on whim.
If you haven’t tried it and want to give it a spin, head over to the official website. With nearly 3 million players across the world and versions in other languages, there will naturally come clones and copycats.