Are you a Wordle turtle? 

If you haven’t heard of Wordle, or have but are too afraid to ask, you’re not alone. It’s a very popular and addictive game, particularly for those who fancy themselves to be a “word nerd”. The concept is simple, you have 6 tries to guess the secret 5 letter word. With each guess the blocks will light up green if you got the correct letter in the correct spot, yellow if you got a correct letter but in the wrong spot, and gray if the letter is not part of the secret word. 

There are a plethora of similar apps available to load to your device due to the popularity and simplistic beauty of the game. The original version was released via website only and can be found here (https://www.powerlanguage.co.uk/wordle/). This is the version that you see the results shared all over social media demonstrating their prowess at solving the daily puzzle. People even go so far as to reverse engineer the prior words someone guessed before getting the final answer. That’s some serious commitment to the game!

Wordle 224 4/6

⬜⬜⬜⬜⬜

⬜🟩⬜⬜⬜

⬜🟩🟩🟩🟩

🟩🟩🟩🟩🟩

You have a couple of difficulty options found within the game settings. The standard approach allows you to guess entirely random 5 letter words to quickly narrow down your possibilities for the final solution. The other option is Hard Mode, which means that any revealed clues must be used in your next guesses. It is more challenging because you can’t eliminate as many possible letter options with subsequent entries. However, since you are constrained to the correct letters you already guessed, you are increasingly more likely to guess the correct answer on your next entry.

If you find you cannot wait a day for the next puzzle or want to play multiple times in the same day, consider using one of the apps or alternatives like this website instead (https://wordlegame.org/). This site doesn’t offer Hard Mode like the original site, so you’d have to apply the logic yourself in your entries, if you’re up for the additional mental challenge.

Here are some strategies that have proven effect to ensure victory in virtually every game. The first step is to come up with 3 distinct five letter words that have a total of 15 unique letters. Of those 15 total unique letters, they should contain all 5 of the standard vowels (A, E, I, O, U), plus the ever flexible “Y”. 

The purpose of this approach is to give you the most opportunity to reveal as many hidden letters as possible; to conserve your energy on the solution, not what word to enter next; and to ensure the remaining letters available are those that are least commonly used. Below are some example word sets you could use to get you started. Feel free to make up your own 3 word combinations that are easy for you to recall. 

PARTS, MONEY, QUICK

STREP, QUAIL, HOWDY

SCRAP, QUOTE, MILKY

SATIN, CLOUD, RHYME 

TURBO, SPACE, VINYL

Note that the sequence of the 3 words should reflect letters that are more commonly used in the English language down to the least frequently used. If you’re a fan of Wheel of Fortune or Scrabble or have ever had to do letter setting on an old printing press (and who hasn’t, right?), then this concept is almost second nature. However, the easiest way to explain this is using the letter values on standard Scrabble tiles as shown below. The lower the value, the more frequent the letter appears in English words. The higher value tiles are less common letters appearing in words, therefore have a higher value associated with them.

Simply assign the values of the tiles to the letters in your words, then add up the value of each word and then sort your list from lowest to highest. Let’s use one of the combinations provided earlier to show how that would work. 

PARTS = (P=3 + A=1 + R=1 + T=1 + S=1) = 7 points

MONEY = (M=3 + O=1 + N=1 + E=1 + Y=4) = 10 points

QUICK = (Q=10 + U=1 + I=1 + C=3 + K=5) = 20 points

If you happen to have a tie between the values of the words, then sort the words of your list alphabetically or anyway you prefer. Here is the same list as shown before, but with the point values added next to each word and sorted lowest to highest as described.

PARTS (7), MONEY (10), QUICK (20)

STREP (7), QUAIL (14), HOWDY (15)

SCRAP (9), QUOTE (14), MILKY (14)

SATIN (5), CLOUD (8), RHYME (13) 

TURBO (7), SPACE (9), VINYL (11)

Now that you have your list to use for puzzle solving, you’re ready to put into practice. Here’s a screenshot from the game using the first series of words:

Consider that if you reveal 4 of out of 5 puzzle letters on either the first word guess or second guess, then start rearranging and filling in the missing letter to get to the solution faster. This is most applicable when at least some of the revealed letters are green, though not required, as in this example:

The solutions won’t always be this easy or apparent. There will be times when only 1 vowel will be revealed and you’ll have to use a process of elimination with the remaining letters of the alphabet to find the hidden word. You can see that in action with the example here:

After 100 games with this method, below is the breakdown of wins by the guess number. The majority (56%) of these were achieved by the fourth guess or sooner.

Give it a try and see if you achieve similar results. Look forward to reading your additional tips in the comments below.

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