Wordle Wows Wordsmiths Around the World

Tracy Stengel

A screenshot of Wordle.Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

Wordle, a web-based word game has wormed its way into the hearts of players around the world. The game is a cross between hangman and Mastermind. It was developed by a programmer, Josh Wardle, who named the game Wordle — a twist on his surname.

Like the best of things, Wordle was made with love. Wardle invented the game to play with his partner. In mid-October 2021, Wardle made it public. It became a viral sensation on Twitter towards the end of 2021 when Wardle added an option to share results on social media with a colored grid that doesn’t spoil the game for others.

KyleGames413 @KyleGames413 Twitter 1/27/22

The game itself is simple, but that doesn’t mean it’s easy! Players get 6 chances to guess the 5-letter word. With each guess, the boxes containing individual letters are colored gray, yellow, or green. Gray means the letter is not included in the answer. Yellow means the letter is in the answer, but not in the right order. Green means the letter is correct and in the right spot. The player uses this information to formulate their second guess, and so on.

Wordle is different from other Internet games. It is free, it is not an app, and it can only be played once a day — which makes players crave it more! Every 24 hours, there’s a new 5-letter word to figure out. Everyone that plays gets the same puzzle each day as everyone else, which fosters competitions between friends, family, and those who gather in cyberspace.

Once you realize what Wordle is, you’ll notice it’s everywhere. Twitter is flooded with Wordle-related memes, results, and laments. Even Jimmy Fallon tweets about Wordle! And Google isn’t about to be left out of the party! Try this: open Google, type in the word Wordle, press Enter, and look at the top left-hand corner of your screen. There, you’ll see a six-letter animated tribute to Wordle that runs through several words and solves the puzzle with the word “Google.”

Jay Bavishi @Jay_Bavishi Twitter 1/15/22

Folks who play Wordle regularly catch on to some tips and tricks to increase their odds of solving the puzzle. But if you want to make the game more challenging, you can turn on the “hard mode.” Simply click on the settings icon in the top right corner of the game. (It looks like a gear.) A new screen will list the setting options. Click the button next to “Hard Mode” to toggle it on and off. When it’s green, it’s on. In the “Hard Mode” you can begin with any 5-letter word, but after that, guesses are restricted according to the hints. For instance, if you guess CRAMP as the first word and the A and P turn yellow, you must use those letters in your next guess. You can turn the “hard mode” on and off whenever you want. Even in between guesses.

If you play Wordle, tell me what it is that keeps you playing! Good luck Wordlers!

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Tracy explores the world with a positive eye, an open heart, and a sprinkling of humor. Without laughter, she would be lost.

Onsted, MI

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