I wanted to resist this viral crap (because crap it is, alright), but in the end, what the heck, we’re all humans. I fail to understand why Wordle is such a viral shit, but I suspect that’s because it makes you feel smart when you’re barely average.

Ouate de phoque ?!

Wordle has a Wikipedia page that says it was born in October 2021, it offers a single puzzle a day, and yet, it was purchased by The New York Times in January 2022 “for an undisclosed seven-figure sum.” I suppose this pandemic made us retards. (Well, at least Wordle is not a NFT.)

It can be played here, and they couldn’t be bothered to make an official app (Android, iOS, something, anything!) for it. You’re supposed to play it online, here.

Also, officially, it’s only offering one 5-letter English puzzle a day. (Wow, it’s well worth a 7-digit $$$ price!) Clones in various languages sprang up like mushrooms—there’s even a list of them: Wordles of the World.

Wordle 101

I’ll use Jimmy Fallon for a primer:

Now, there’s one trick here: what word would be the best opener?

I’ve found there are articles and videos claiming to have determined, scientifically, that this or that word is the best one to start with. But then, there’s an article on Forbes saying that “It’s all a bunch of rubbish.” Who to believe?

I couldn’t be bothered to read any such article, nor to watch any such video, but I noticed and I’ll link to a few, for the curious:

What the fuck has information theory to do with linguistics and statistics? Entropy, they say. No fucking kidding?! A gazillion of narcissistic, overconfident “geniuses” made YouTube host a quadrillion useless or misleading videos.

Finding “the best word” should inquire on a few factors:

  1. Can it be proven that a unique word can ensure a winning strategy in all the cases, knowing that there are only 6 available attempts?
  2. If so, once the results for the opening word are shown, what should your Joe Sixpack do to win? In chess, after the first move, one has to know what to do next. In Wordle… err… it’s up to everyone’s wits.
  3. The distribution of the letters in the 5-character list of English words accepted by Wordle. Without knowing this, it’s impossible to maximize the usefulness of the information obtained by carefully choosing the opeining word! By the way, which dictionary is used? (Rather probable: the Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary.)

Either way, from a practical standpoint, even with “the best opener,” the judgment mistakes made in the following attempts can ruin everything. This is why I suggest to open with whatever you feel like in that particular moment. My unscientific own list to choose from:

AROSE, SOARE, ROATE, SAMEY, OATER, THURL, CRANE, CRATE, SALET, TRACE, ORATE, ADIEU, AUDIO, STARE, STERN, ROAST, OUIJA, WEARY, PIOUS, RATIO, MENDS, LUCKY, SCALY, GUIDE, MAKER, TIGER, THORN, TALES, PENIS, FARTS, FAINT, TEARS, ARISE, AWAKE, AWARE, APART, AMONG, TREND, SETUP, SNOWY, ULCER, BUTTS.

THURL only exists in Merriam-Webster, and absolutely no one is using it, but it’s accepted by Wordle, and thus it’s suggested by some retard as “best” opener. SALET is also used by almost nobody, but a pundit said it’s a great opener. ROATE was used by Shakespeare, and it only makes sense to test for some very frequent letters.

The apps I’m using these days

There are two apps that I really fancy right now.

  • Worde is Android-only, and it has two modes: DAILY, which uses the official NYT Wordle of the day, and UNLIMITED, which creates random puzzles: Worde – Daily & Unlimited (com.chinloyal.wordle) by Potudo.
  • Warble is Linux-only, originally made for elementary OS, but available in AUR and, for the rest of the world, as a Flatpak: github.com/avojak/warble (the Flatpak version is not on Flathub, but on elementary OS‘s repo)

💡 To my public shaming, I’d give you a tip on how to cheat by using a helper app to get inspiration about the words to try. Mind you, this doesn’t replace your logic, but just provides you with lists of words. The Android apps I recommend you are by WordWeb Software: either the free WordWeb Dictionary, or the commercial Chambers Dictionary.

Screenshots time!

■ Using Worde without cheating to solve the official Wordle puzzles for March 15-16:

■ Cheating to solve the puzzles for March 17, 18, 19:

■ No cheating for March 20!

■ Cheating on Worde Unlimited:

■ Warble as Flatpak works perfectly (here, in FC35):

■ Warble built from AUR seems to fail to force a fully compatible typeface, so it might miss the Unicode characters for the winning Party Popper (U+1F389) and for the Backspace key (Erase to the Left U+232B):

■ Some other times (depending on the configuration of your desktop environment), the build from AUR would at least have the “Erase to the Left” key:

■ But even in Warble, cheating doesn’t always help you win, if your brains are MIA:

Other languages

I’m not sure that designing a puzzle that only uses 5-letter words was a wise thing to do in English, and I’m even less sure of that when it comes to other languages, but here’s a list of a few other online clones I’ve tried:

FRENCH

Le Mot — here I cheated with the help of an Android app that is no longer on Google Fucking Play Store, something called Le Robert Dixel Mobile (ean9782321006534.com.lerobertmobile). There is a newer iOS counterpart, Dictionnaire Le Robert Mobile (€13.99), in which the “Assistant de mots croisés” does the trick.

LeMOT — that’s a different one! Poorly chosen color code: yellow for “correct letter”, blue for “wrong position”, gray for “nope”. Some words being a bit stupid, it requires some cheating sometimes:

Devimot — a bit annoying, because accented letters are counted separately. In the example below, I made the mistake of trying TIRER after I knew from GARCE that the middle letter cannot be R, but I still got it:

MOTDLE — confusing because only the accented É seems to be considered distinctly:

motle — for some reason, they prefer lower-case letters:

SUTOM — with 6 to 9-letter words, of which the first one is given, and totally stupid colors: red for “correct position”; yellow circle for “wrong position”; unchanged blue background for “not in the word”. Being thus difficult, it requires a bit of cheating:

💡 Suggested starting words for French: SAINE, TARIE, MOULT, TROUS, TOURS.

ITALIAN

Parole — I was absolutely lucky here, giving that my knowledge of Italian is pathetic:

Parolette — the Gods were with me!

Verba — that was an easy one:

Wordle italiano senza limiti — not bad:

GERMAN

Wördläöü should be entered as ae, oe, ue, and ß as ss, which is a bit cheating, because it adds 4-letter words to the game, and excludes 5-letter words with Umlauts. Somehow, my first attempt was fortunate:

ROMANIAN

Wordle-RO — somewhat hyped in Romania. Diacritics are ignored. And I’m not entirely happy with the word chosen for my first attempt: they had it provă, which is a less common spelling of proră (<IT prora, the old term for IT prua = FR proue = the bow or prow of a ship). Well, maybe that’s why the alternate spelling (and pronunciations) exist.

ROrdle.ro — with diacritics, which is good, but that’s what makes it difficult at times!

MULTILINGUAL

WordleGame defaults to American English, but it can be told to use words from British English, English for kids, French, Italian, German, and others, for a total of 19 choices. I only tried the English version for kids:

Closing considerations

Now, I have to admit the whole thing is funny, but I still fail to understand the hysteria around it. (Yes, I know we’re living in the times of the cryptocurrency idiocy and all, but still…) This isn’t anything revolutionary! Revolutionary puzzles were the likes of: Scrabble (1938), Mastermind (1972), Rubik’s cube (1977/1980), Tetris (1984), Klotski (1909/1991), Rush Hour (1970s/1996). But this Wordle thing? A trifle!

Then maybe it’s indeed successful because it allows some people to feel brainiac, when they have merely found a 5-letter word… (Did Jimmy Fallon really look intelligent during his Wordle feat? Not to me!)

LATE EDIT

Scholardle, a Wordle clone using “top academic words”:

No need to cheat these days: as I got used to the concept, I developed a routine of solving my “daily trinity”: Wordly via the Worde app, Scholardle, and Wordle-RO:

The first bug in Wordle!

On March 30, 2022, strange things happened. In my case, I noticed that the official Wordle page had a different puzzle than the Worde app that was supposed to have used the official puzzle:

  • Wordle: STOVE
  • Worde: HARRY (from harass, not the proper name)

At the same time, there are reports on the Web such as: “I had HARRY, my wife had STOVE as correct answer!”

Here’s the deal: there are things you don’t know about Wordle, and neither did I until a couple of minutes ago. There is a post on Medium that reveals a bit too much, starting with such info:

One: Wordle will end on October 20 2027. On that day, the remaining players will try to guess the very last word of the game’s 2,315 five-letter wordlist.

Two: All 2,315 words are stored right in your browser when you play a game. When you connect to the site, you download a nifty script that figures out what day it is on your device and shows you the correct puzzle. The script stores all the allowed words you can guess plus the answer to every puzzle, past, present, and future.

So if you’re the kind of person who skips to the end of the book to see what happens, reads all the movie spoilers, and generally hates waiting, you’ll like this: here’s every possible solution to Wordle for the next 2,100 days or so.

Indeed, I checked today the page source of Wordle, and I found this:

<script>
  (function () {
    // Defining the hash before the main bundle allows the bundle access window.hash
    window.wordle = window.wordle || {};
    window.wordle.hash = '3d28ac0c';
  })();
</script>
<script src="main.3d28ac0c.js"></script>

Then I opened main.3d28ac0c.js and, sure thing, it contained the whole shebang:

I was really disappointed. But have you noticed that the daily puzzle is indeed triggered by the time of your device, not by the time in the state of New York (EST, or currently EDT because of the bloody DST)?

Back to Medium, they precalculated the words that should appear, and here’s the precalculation with the wrong dates, but the correct order:

Mar 27 2022 Day 281 CHEST
Mar 28 2022 Day 282 DEPOT
Mar 29 2022 Day 283 EPOXY
Mar 30 2022 Day 284 NYMPH
Mar 31 2022 Day 285 FOUND
Apr 01 2022 Day 286 SHALL
Apr 02 2022 Day 287 HARRY
Apr 03 2022 Day 288 STOVE

In real life, the official words were as follows (taken from here, but also solved by me in Worde):

Wordle 278 Mar 24 is CHEST
Wordle 279 Mar 25 is DEPOT
Wordle 280 Mar 26 is EPOXY
Wordle 281 Mar 27 is NYMPH
Wordle 282 Mar 28 is FOUND
Wordle 283 Mar 29 is SHALL
Wordle 284 Mar 30 is STOVE

There are two things worth noticing:

  • The word HARRY, which is in the list and should have been chosen by the algorithm, has been skipped.
  • The Medium list is shifted by a few positions, e.g. puzzle 283 is 286 in their list and should have been shown on April 2 instead of March 29, which suggests that 3 other words have been skipped before HARRY was skipped too!

Maybe the algorithm has changed, but not too much. Maybe there is a bug somewhere. Fact is, this is annoying, because I didn’t want to need to access the official puzzle in a browser. I just liked that unofficial app.

This is not the first time they noticed a bug in their algorithm:

Well, it looks like the way they fixed the bug, now everyone skips a puzzle on occasions!

But what’s even worse is that there is a list of the words to come, and that spoils everything, no matter a few words might be skipped for no good reason.

The Wordle magic has ended for me. RIP 🪦

EDIT: Mehr Deutsch!

I just discovered another German clone: 6mal5.com!

EDIT: More cheating!

I don’t need to cheat anymore, as I stopped trying Wordle, and my daily linguistic fun comes from Scholardle and Wordle-RO. For the last one there is no cheat, and for Scholardle, there is no real need, although so far I managed to fail a puzzle, a single one:

The greatest fun comes from the days when I am just lucky!

However, I just discovered another Android app that can be used as a cheating tool (English-only): org.billthefarmer.crossword. E.g. when you know two “green” letters:

But cheating is not fun, unless you’re doing it on Tinder.