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filmfann's avatar

What is your Wordle strategy?

Asked by filmfann (50087points) January 25th, 2022

And how successful are you?

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66 Answers

Jeruba's avatar

First row: choose a word with at least four of the most common letters (ETAOINSHRDLU), including two vowels; e.g., STARE, NOTES, TEACH.

Second row: incorporate any hits, moving the yellow ones (right letter, wrong place), and drawing again on the most common letters.

Then slow, careful study, examining combinations, using what I know about the structure of English words and following something like Sherlock Holmes’s precept: “When you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth.”

I usually get it in the fourth row.

I don’t think the “endless” Wordle, which is apparently a knockoff, plays fair. I’ve missed a couple of those because they were weird and dubious words.

LostInParadise's avatar

I start with the words table and pious to cover the vowels and a few of the most common letters. I also write down the available letters. A few times I was able to get iit on the third guess. After the first 3 words, I write a list of the possibilities and think of what I can do to eliminate the most.

Blackwater_Park's avatar

What is Wordle?

kritiper's avatar

Stick with SUDOKU.

zenvelo's avatar

I use the same general strategy as @Jeruba, although for my amusement I don’t start with the same words every day.

Yesterday I started with POINT, and it took me all six tries to solve. Today I started with SPOUT followed by RAINY. That got me one gold letter out of ten letter choices; I solved on my fifth choice.

flutherother's avatar

I cover all the vowels in the first two guesses then my strategy varies. Sometimes I guess where I should place the letters that are correct but in the wrong place and sometimes, I concentrate on introducing new letters that haven’t been tried. I play the unlimited version and on average I get the word nine times out of ten.

I liked playing the paper and pencil version at school as you could choose the word for your opponent to guess. Words like EERIE were quite nasty until we learned to look out for them.

ragingloli's avatar

I prefer shooting people in video games.

Blackwater_Park's avatar

I got it try 6 is it an app or just this webpage? I think I’ll go back to shooting space demons.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Sniff. I lost today. And the word was one I use a lot.

Jeruba's avatar

@zenvelo, I use different words every day too. They vary but follow my established pattern. It’s been working well for me.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Mine worked well for me too. Until today. I was just a dumbass.

kruger_d's avatar

I repeat yellow hits, but not green ones unless I am pretty sure. I have solved 4/4 mostly in 4 guesses.

Jeruba's avatar

@kruger_d, did you mean that the other way around? Green is right letter, right position. As soon as it appears green, you are sure of it.

raum's avatar

I’m like @zenvelo, I like to start with a different word each day.

And similar to @Jeruba, I use a combination of the top ten letters. ETAINOSRHL Prioritizing vowels. No repeat letters.

Then I will keep my greens, shift my yellows. And try to use more of the unused top ten letters. No repeat letters.

Then I either mentally or literally (depending on how lazy or motivated I am) figure out possible configurations with blanks.

If I don’t get it on the third try, I shift to top fifteen letters. Same strategy. Usually in three or four.

raum's avatar

I know a ton of people who use the same word each day. Some have a set of letters they target. Others go by feeling. Wonder what our strategies say about our personalities?

Dutchess_III's avatar

Good question @raum. I use the same word to start everyday because I don’t see any advantage to using random different words.

LostInParadise's avatar

@raum ,The chances of winning on the first two guesses is about none, so it makes sense to have a fixed strategy for them of using common letters, including all the vowels. This is what I do. If by chance there are a lot of matches on the first word, then I may shift my the strategy for the second one.

product's avatar

I’ve only been playing for 5 days, but I have used the same opening word on 4 of them.

@raum: “Wonder what our strategies say about our personalities?”

I suspect this just confirms that I’m boring. :)

raum's avatar

@product I actually agree with Dutch and think using the same word is probably the optimal strategy. I just like using a different word each day for kicks. :)

@LostInParadise I think some guy wrote a computer program to get it on the second word. So, in theory, it’s possible?

zenvelo's avatar

NPR says your Wordle strategy says a lot about you

raum's avatar

@zenvelo Did not realize I’ve been playing the hard way. Hadn’t even thought about using all different letters. That’s pretty smart!

Though it seems pretty accurate to say that I’m a person who always wants to keep the dream alive…flying without a net!

Dutchess_III's avatar

There’s a hard mode?

Jeruba's avatar

@Dutchess_III, the NPR piece that @zenvelo cited (which is a personal opinion piece) explains that. I didn’t know about it either.

Dutchess_III's avatar

I found it. But I don’t want it!

kruger_d's avatar

@Jeruba I meant pretty sure I have the whole word. I will repeat the yellow hits but in new spaces, but I use the green spaces to try new letters unless I’m pretty sure I have the answer.

Jeruba's avatar

Oh. Well, that ^^^ makes sense. I do that sometimes too.

raum's avatar

So…I like to mix up my first word choice each day. Just for kicks.

But the two times that I’ve gotten Wordle in two have been with the same first word choice (“tears”).

Coincidence? Or a really good first word choice? Can’t decide.

raum's avatar

Also, the two times I’ve gotten Wordle in six tries has been when I’ve tried to play in easy mode. For some reason, it’s way harder for me that way.

Anyone else find that easy mode is more difficult than hard mode?

Dutchess_III's avatar

Haven’t tried the hard mode.

Jeruba's avatar

After sticking with this for a while (and a lot of the practice game Wordplay ), I’ve evolved a pretty good strategy. Thanks to @LostInParadise, I’ve found that PIOUS is a really good starting word. The second word then covers A and E and other common letters, but I know straight off whether or not to bother with S.

I do like to vary my start, sometimes far off the mainstream, such as VIXEN or CRYPT, but I keep coming back to PIOUS because it’s a winner.

When I get a few rows down without a clue, I stop and ponder. The stopping and pondering part is interesting. It depends a lot on knowing the structure of English words, which we may never think about otherwise. When stumped, I pile all the plausible unused letters I can squeeze in into one row and see what gets a hit, regardless of the green letters. The green letters can just get in the way of new information. This principle used to work really well in Mastermind when used thoughtfully.

I have more three-guess wins than any other number, but the four-guess total is close. The few twos were lucky hits not reflecting any real strategy. And the sixes, well, a few close calls keep things exciting.

zenvelo's avatar

^^^^ @Jeruba my similar choice of first word is SAUTÉ, which gets the two most common vowels, a third vowel, and two of the most common consonants. Because of my approach, I usually solve in 4.

LostInParadise's avatar

Lately I have been using ANTES as a start word. If that fails to pick up a vowel, I then use CURIO. That is almost guaranteed to pick up a vowel (just a few words with y as the only vowel) and covers a lot of common letters.

Jeruba's avatar

I tried ADIEU and it worked. That’s a mouthful of vowels. I continue to be bemused in various of these word games by how many thoroughly English words are rejected and how many foreign words get a pass.

Blackwater_Park's avatar

I use “AUDIO” now because it contains almost all vowels. Damn you all for getting me on this.

Dutchess_III's avatar

I lost today. ;(

Yesterday I got it in 2.

raum's avatar

Ooph…today took me five.
Had to play easy mode.
Too many possibilities. :/

zenvelo's avatar

@raum Today took me six; my girlfriend and a few others I know failed to solve today, and solving in five seems to be in the top 40th percentile.

raum's avatar

@zenvelo There are percentiles for Wordle?

zenvelo's avatar

@raum Not offically, that was my guess on how you would rank based on the small sample of people I know who shared their scores today.

raum's avatar

@zenvelo Oh gotcha! Would be fun if they did a leaderboard.

Jeruba's avatar

Well, I’ve hit on what is for me a winning combo, and so I have been using it without variation for the past week. First row: ADIEU. Second row, STORY. After that, of course, it depends.

Dutchess_III's avatar

^^^^ trying to remember that !

Jeruba's avatar

Write it down somewhere, @Dutchess_III.

Oh, wait, look, it’s written down here!

(Just joking with you, of course.)

I have had better than 99% solves with this start, and a surprising number of them have come in row 3. By far the most are in row 4, though.

Dutchess_III's avatar

I know. I’ll have to check in here before I start tomrrow.

Jeruba's avatar

@Dutchess_III, have you tried it out? I’ve been sticking with it exclusively ever since I hit on it a couple of weeks ago. It’s a winner, if you ask me.

I’ve been able to guess a surprising number of words by the third row and most of them by the fourth. And not lost any but one where I accidentally closed the page before finishing and it counted as a loss.

raum's avatar

@Jeruba Are you playing on NYT site? I close my page before finishing a lot and haven’t had it count as a loss before.

Your musings inspired me to try consistent two words. Was using “TERNS” and “AHOLD” for a few days. And was mostly getting in third row. But it feels kind of unsatisfying even though the strategy has improved my score.

I think I miss the excitement of thinking about which first word I will choose for the day. :/

Dutchess_III's avatar

Damn game. It’s so hard but the words turn out to be so simple.

Jeruba's avatar

@raum, yes, but I’ve also been practicing here:

https://wordplay.com/new

Once I got the hang of it, of the differences, I mostly liked it. One difference is that if you close the game unfinished, it won’t be there when you go back, and it counts as a loss.

You can skip spaces while you try out combinations, and that’s nice. The chatty feedback is annoying, and the scoring doesn’t seem to mean anything. But it does let you play as often as you like and work on your strategies. I had a 159-game winning streak going before I ran out of rows on one word that had too many possibilities.

raum's avatar

@Jeruba 159 game streak using the same first and second word? Now I was to try this out as an experiment with different combinations!

Jeruba's avatar

@raum, no, I had a pretty good streak going before I started with ADIEU (which is not an English word) and STORY. But I’ve won consistently since then, except for the one slip-up. On regular Wordle, I don’t have a clear record because I do it on two different devices, so when I switch to one, the other drops my streak. But I just about never miss a word.

What’s really weird is how often with, say, one green letter and one or two orange letters in the first two rows, I can get the word on the third row. For me the key is not to just guess letters but to actually think of words that fit my guess. Usually there’s far fewer than it seems at first. I don’t use the second strategy—stacking likely consonants in one word to smoke out the telling one—unless and until I get to row 5 without a clue.

 

Well, damn, I just lost one legitimately. That’s 4 out of 224.

raum's avatar

@Jeruba Yes! It is rather surprising how often there are only a few viable options. I’ve noticed that they tend to use pretty common words. So that helps to narrow it down too.

I’m going to do a little experiment. See how many wins I can get in a row using the same first two words. And then how many wins I can get in a row mixing up the words I use.

Dutchess_III's avatar

It’s crazy how hard and frustrating the game is, but the answers are really easy words.

Jeruba's avatar

@raum, you’ll report back, of course.

@Dutchess_III, not all so easy. I don’t know which game it was, but I hit IVORY, EPOXY, GLAZE, SQUAT, and, inexplicably, RALPH, which I got because filling in the P was the only possible choice.

Response moderated
Blackwater_Park's avatar

I got todays in four using @Jeruba‘s method.

zenvelo's avatar

@Jeruba‘s strategy is not possible in hard mode. The second word does not use any letters revealed in yellow or green in the second word.

I got very lucky today and solved in two. My second word used two letters from the first word that were in yellow, and then three more letters to see if they were included.

Dutchess_III's avatar

I got it in 4 too using my own opening word, REACH.

raum's avatar

(4/29) Got it in two using TERNS. Not sure how to use that as a data point, since I didn’t actually use AHOLD. Hmmm…

@Jeruba Will report back if I follow through with enough data. Might get bored before then.

Jeruba's avatar

@zenvelo, true, it would not work in hard mode. That’s an obstacle to obtaining useful information. I don’t see any point to it.

@Dutchess_III, I don’t think you’re supposed to give away today’s solution.

LostInParadise's avatar

There are two possible difficulties. Either there are too many possibilities, which is the case before the first guess, or you can’t think of any possibilities, which I frequently find after a guess or two.

In this second case, since there is no time limit, it sometimes pays to do some analysis. It can be very helpful to draw 5 blanks on a small whiteboard. Fill in the letters that are known for sure. If a letter can be in one of two places, it can be helpful to write the letter above or below the blanks with arrows pointing to its possible locations. For other letters whose location is not known, you can place it temporarily in possible locations to see if anything jumps out at you. I find it much easier to work with the letters written down than to imagine the possibilities in my head.

raum's avatar

(5/1) Got Wordle in four goes today.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Took me all 6.

Blackwater_Park's avatar

Today took me 4

Jeruba's avatar

I just have to share this one. I was using Wordplay, and sticking with ADIEU and STORY, which are winners for me. I got an orange A in the first row and nothing in the second. The A was all I had. So I picked a random word with an A in the middle, using other consonants. And that was it. Wow.

Meanwhile I very nearly crashed and burned on ENDOW (that was really hard) and a couple of others that involved some fierce cogitation in the sixth row. Hoping the gray cells are getting some good exercise this way.

filmfann's avatar

https://www.quordle.com/

For those who want 4 Wordle games at once, with only 9 guesses.

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