# Can you help me solve this WordPlay problem?

Asked by Jeruba (55991) June 7th, 2022

WordPlay is a variant of Wordle that bills itself as a practice game. It has several likeable features and sets no limit on number of games per day.

I have a long winning streak that I don’t want to break.

I typically solve by row 4. If I don’t have it by then, my strategy calls for packing into one word the telltale letters that will allow me to solve in row 6. A few times that has resulted in two possibilities, and I’ve managed to guess right.

Now I am at row 5 with way too many alternatives.

So the help I need is this: in what word can I pack as many telltale letters as possible to increase my chances of getting my final guess right? This is a logic puzzle in that there are several if-then aspects in play.

What I have is
_ A _ E L.

Possible solutions, given what’s already excluded, are

BAGEL
CAMEL
GAVEL
HAZEL
NAVEL
PANEL

In other words, in row 5 I have to test some subset of {B, C, G, H, N, P, V, Z}. I don’t have to get all of them in (can’t). Some are redundant; for instance, either H or Z would yield HAZEL (if H, then Z, so I don’t need both). G could belong to one of two words, and by first or third position placement I would know which.

So I’m after a word that uses as many of those letters as possible, with strategic positioning if possible, so as to reduce the number of possibilities in my final row and increase my chances of guessing right.

The most I can get in is four, since there does have to be a vowel.

Are you with me? Share your brainpower!

Help me solve this, and I will PM you with a >>> smooch <<< every day for a week.

Observing members: 0 Composing members: 0

## 28 Answers

“Bench” would eliminate many choices.

LuckyGuy (43843)

Thanks, @LuckyGuy, that’s exactly the kind of thing I’m looking for. I thought of PINCH as well. So far, my best shot is PAGAN, which, despite the redundant A, would reveal BAGEL, GAVEL, NAVEL, and PANEL. If no luck, though, it’d still be a raw tossup between CAMEL and HAZEL. Can I get any closer?

Jeruba (55991)

Can you share all of the letters that you’ve already used?

(Are “ B, C, G, H, N, P, V, Z” the remaining letters? Or the ones you think are possible?)

raum (13282)

Sure. The grid so far:

A D I E U
S T O R Y
W A F E R
L A B E L

WERTYUIO
ASDF    L
B

No, the list {B, C, G, H, N, P, V, Z} is the letters in the remaining possible words that I would have to test as in or out in order to identify the solution.

Jeruba (55991)

Wait, you already used B.
Was it marked yellow?

If so, it’s BAGEL.

If not, I’d arrange the remaining letters by order of how often they’re used in English.

N H C M P G V K X J Q Z

I’d go with MUNCH.

raum (13282)

Ha, you’re right! I missed that. So BAGEL is off the list, hurray. That leaves only these possible words:

CAMEL
GAVEL
HAZEL
NAVEL
PANEL

Now will PAGAN solve it? No, I’d still have both CAMEL and HAZEL. (Think think think some more.)

Jeruba (55991)

Oh wait.
I see your question…

raum (13282)

Another vote for PINCH. Without BAGEL, that should be enough to narrow down possibilities.

raum (13282)

Testing MUNCH:

yellow M, the word is CAMEL
U is filler
yellow N, the word is NAVEL
green N, the word is PANEL
yellow C, the word is CAMEL
yellow H, the word is HAZEL
None of the above, the word is GAVEL

Whoa! @raum, I think you’ve got it! Have to double-triple check, though, before I risk it.

PINCH leaves too many possibilities.

Serious business today.

Jeruba (55991)

EDIT: They would both work! I forgot that the N would be yellow for NAVEL and green for PANEL. (I was just circling with a pencil on a piece of scratch paper.)

raum (13282)

So: I can’t think of any words that fit the spaces and use these letters:

Q J K X

All the rest are in play. And I can’t think of any other ways to combine them in the given pattern. Can you?

As for HAZEL and GAVEL, the H in MUNCH does the trick.

Jeruba (55991)

Okayyy . . . about to try it . . . I’m going with MUNCH.

. . . and . . .

Green N!

So the word is PANEL, and I’m still on a roll.

Jeruba (55991)

PANEL = P I N C H
NAVEL = P I N C H
HAZEL = P I N C H
GAVEL = P I N C H
CAMEL = P I N C H

raum (13282)

Yay! Phew!

raum (13282)

BENCH would have also worked. Since we really only needed NCH. :)

In fact, I’d say it’s a better suggestion than MUNCH. Because it could have differentiated between BAGEL and GAVEL.

raum (13282)

It was that perplexing BAGEL that really messed me up. And see, I was too sleepy and stupid last night to catch the oversight.

My strategy has taken me through a good long series of wins, both in practice and with the daily Wordle, but this one almost stumped me. I felt a little foolish asking for help, but now I’m glad I did.

Jeruba (55991)

I’m glad you asked too. I think it was just the thing I needed to get my mind off other things. :)

raum (13282)

I have a smooth, quick process that turns wins into a ho-hum experience most of the time. There are some sticklers (MAYBE was very hard, and so was KAPPA) that add excitement, but this one really woke me up. Thanks for playing.

Jeruba (55991)

I just thought of something. Your initial word PINCH is actually the best word.

We didn’t account for duplicate letters. It could have been LAPEL. And PINCH would have covered that.

You said you were sleepy. But it sounds like you can play this game in your sleep. Ha!

raum (13282)

No, it couldn’t have been LAPEL because I got the double L with LABEL. I watch out for duplicates all the time, having nearly been tripped by words like SASSY and MUMMY.

Sometimes I think I do play it in my sleep. That might account for some of my careless losses—failing to use the information right in front of me. But I’ve now scored a significant win and am satisfied for a little while.

Jeruba (55991)

Oooh, KEBAB was a tough one.

Jeruba (55991)

Darn you!!! :-) I signed up for an account.

I like how you can leave blank spaces. Nice touch.

LuckyGuy (43843)

I do like that feature, @LuckyGuy, as well as the unlimited play. I have to question the legitimacy of some of the words, though, as well as things like using both FIBER and FIBRE as target words. And those inane little comments bug me, and the horrible definitions.

But it has a playful atmosphere, and it’s good practice for your once-a-day shot at Wordle. Are you enjoying it?

Jeruba (55991)

Am I enjoying it? Sadly, the answer is “yes.” I also do Quordle and wordle and the NYT mini-crossword.
Oy! By the time I finish breakfast it’s time for lunch! :-)

LuckyGuy (43843)

Ha! Glad to see another hookee. I didn’t even know about Quordle.

I almost broke my winning streak on LYMPH. But that was legit. So was INLAY. KARMA was marginal. The one that really ticked me off was AIDER—a French verb, and defined as such. I have it in mind to write Dharmesh with some opinions.

Jeruba (55991)

Damn. I just blew away my 200-game winning streak, so close to beating my 223-game record.

Jeruba (55991)

Quite an accomplishment! I never get that close. I either forget to do it or I get distracted. Occasionally I even miss the word.

LuckyGuy (43843)

Just about every time I’ve lost a game, it’s because I was too hasty and broke my fundamental rule, which is to check every column before clicking Enter. In nearly every case, the necessary information was right in front of me.

Jeruba (55991)

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