Ed's Wordle Results

 A list of all possible 5-letter words that may be used as guesses can be found here.

A list of all possible 2,315 5-letter words that may be used as the solution to a puzzle can be found here.

Update.  The above solution list now has just 2,308 words.
Be sure to remove the following seven words from the list:


Here's a Wordle Letter Frequency Chart I created,
from the 2,308 words in the Answer List:  The top three frequent letters in each column are highlighted.


Up until a few days ago I had never played Wordle, although I had seen several of my Facebook friends regularly posting their daily Wordle scores.  One afternoon I finally decided to see what all the fuss was about.

Ha!  It's basically Mastermind for kids.

Wordle is a "puzzle" that is a cousin to a similar type of deduction puzzle/game called Mastermind, that was very popular in the late '70s / early '80s.  However, especially for those of us who have played Mastermind, it's way, way easier.

You're given a puzzle to solve.  A 5-letter word is chosen and you have to figure out what the word is.  You have six chances to guess the word.  Like Mastermind, you put down a clue... a 5-letter word of your own.  Like Mastermind, you're told how many letters you picked that are exactly right, and how many of your letters are correct... but in the wrong place.  

However, UNLIKE Mastermind, you don't have to figure out what letters these are... the system tells you!  The information provided tells you exactly which letter(s) you have exactly right, and which letter(s) are correct but in the wrong position!!  90% of the deduction work is done for you!

It's WAY easier than Mastermind.  It's exactly how you might play Mastermind with a 6-year-old who wants to learn how to play that game/puzzle.  The rules are simplified to make it easier for the young child.

Not only is it less of a mental challenge than Mastermind, there are also far less possible answers.

Super Mastermind, by comparison, has 32,768 possible codes.  (8^5... 8 different colors with 5 slots.)  The Wordle answer list words only has 2,309 words, so that's all the possible answers the puzzle could be!

Yes, there are a lot more than 2,309 5-letter words but the site removed 82% of the words from the list, that were deemed too odd, too obscure, a plural of a four-letter word, etc.  In my opinion, they really butchered that list by removing so many words.  Would you believe this list of common words, and a lot of other common words, have all been removed?  None of these will ever appear as a answer:


I can't help but notice a lot of my friends, and many others in some of the Wordle groups and forums, have no clue how to properly solve this puzzle.  For example, I've learned many of them have no concept on why you might want to play a word that cannot be the answer to the puzzle, a probing word, but doing so will gain valuable information and narrow down your search space and reduce your average solution per row expectancy. Having played lots of Mastermind, obviously this concept is not unknown to me.

What is a Probing Word?

A burner word, or what I like to refer to as a "probing word," is an "informative impossible." It's a word that you know is not the solution to the puzzle, but it's a word you choose to play to get more information than you otherwise would, by playing a possible word.

For example, assume you just have two rows left and you know the answer is either CATCH, LATCH, MATCH, PATCH, or WATCH. (Assume for the sake of discussion you previously used an H in Position 1 so you know the answer cannot be HATCH, and you know the answer also cannot be BATCH because you previously used a B.) 

If you start guessing beginning with Row 3, you might not solve the puzzle at all. The feedback received from your wrong guesses won't give you any additional information about the answer.

Instead, the proper way to play is to play a probing word that uses as many of the unknown letters as possible. In this example, one word you could use is CLUMP. After the feedback you receive from this row, you will know the answer to the puzzle, no matter what it is!

If the answer is CATCH, the C in Clump will have a green box.
If the answer is LATCH, the L in Clump will have a yellow box.
If the answer is MATCH, the M in Clump will have a yellow box.
If the answer is PATCH, the P in Clump will have a yellow box.
If the answer is WATCH, Clump will not have any green boxes.

In this example, if you start guessing, you risk not solving the puzzle at all.  If you use a probing word, you solve it on the next row.

I've also seen players make many "poor guesses" without even realizing it.  As an example of a poor guess, see my comments below for Wordle puzzle #267, #268, #276.

I suspect every puzzle can be solved in five or fewer rows... every single time.  The average solution per row is probably in the high 3s.  UPDATE!  Ha!  I was right.  I've since learned there are computer bots that solve these puzzles and sure enough, the best bots have a max solution of five rows per puzzle and are averaging a solution every 3.421 rows!  (This is a slightly lower row per solution expectancy than I suspected.)

Below are all of the Mastermind for kids puzzles I've played so far.


Wordle #260
I hadn't yet read about which words were better initial guesses to use than others.  TRIES was probably the first word that popped into my mind
Believe it or not, after my 2nd guess, CLOTH is the only possible word remaining.


Wordle #261
Since solving my first puzzle I've read that SOARE is a good starting word so let's choose that one.
After the feedback I received from the first clue, there are only two possible answers left; BOARD and HOARD.

As you can see, I chose the BOARD, which was wrong.  We now know the correct answer is HOARD.


Wordle #262

I read, from more than one website, that SALET, although not a valid answer, is the best starting guess.


So, that's good enough for me.   Let's try that as my starting word.

After the feedback I received from SALET, there are just two possible answers;  SHEET and SWEET.  (SKEET, believe it or not, is a valid guess but that word has been removed from the list of valid answers.)

I guessed SWEET and this time I guessed correctly.
Wordle #263
After my second guess, there are just two possible answers left; NOTCH and MONTH.
I guessed wrong.

I wished the site allowed me to claim a 3.5 row solution, after proving there were only two answers left after Row 2.  That's exactly what it will be over a large sample size anyway.  With just two choices left, half the time I will guess right and solve it in three rows, and half the time I will guess incorrectly and solve it in four rows, for an average solution of 3.5.
Wordle #264

LAPSE is the only possible answer after my first guess.  However, I miscalculated and thought EASEL was also still valid... and that's what I guessed.  Whoops!  With SALET as my starting word, I should have had this puzzle solved in two rows!

Wordle #265
This is my most interesting puzzle to date.  After my first two guesses, there are just seven possible words left: BATCH, CACTI, CATCH, HATCH, MATCH, PATCH, and WATCH.
I've already used two rows.  If I simply start guessing with these possible answers, I might not solve the puzzle at all, before my six available rows are used.  The reason is, the feedback given will not help my case any.
Thus, the guess I played, CHAMP, although not a possible answer, will further help my goal.  Notice that CHAMP, uses a C and an M and a P, as does BATCH, MATCH, and PATCH.
If the answer is CACTI, CATCH, MATCH, or PATCH the feedback I get from CHAMP will tell me which one is correct and I'll solve the puzzle in 4 rows.

If the answer is BATCH, HATCH, or WATCH I still won't know which of these is correct, but at least I'll have eliminated all of the other four using just one row.
As shown, CHAMP was indeed not correct, so we do know the answer is either BATCH, HATCH, or WATCH. Alas, it's a guessing game again... and feedback provided if playing one of these three words won't help my.  This, I might not solve the puzzle until Row 6. I'd like to avoid that, so let's play another word in Row 4 that won't be the correct answer... but it will guarantee I will solve the puzzle in 5 rows.

Notice that my guess, BELOW, contains a B and a W.  If the B receives a green box, it's BATCH.  If I receive no colored boxes, it's HATCH. If the W receives a yellow box, which it did, the answer must be WATCH.
Wordle #266
Only two words are possible after my second guess, TODAY and TOPAZ.

This time I guessed correctly.


Wordle #267
Only three words are possible after my second guess: BONUS, FOCUS, and USURP.

This time I was fortunate to be on the winning side of a 1 in 3 pick!

Please note that USURP would have been a terrible guess.  If wrong, the resulting feedback would be yy---.   (A g indicates a green box and a y indicates a yellow box.)  This wouldn't tell me whether the answer was BONUS or FOCUS.  Both would still be possible.

However, by playing FOCUS, if the answer is BONUS the feedback would be -g-gg and if the answer is USURP the feedback would be ---yy.  I'd know the solution!

Finally, if a green box is given an arbitrary point total of 2 points, and if a yellow box is given a point total of 1 point, I solved this puzzle with just 2 "Clue Points!"   I suspect it might be a long time before I solve a puzzle with fewer "Clue Points!"


Wordle #268
Only three words, SLEPT, SMELT, and SPELT were possible after the clues provided from the initial guess. 

Obviously, SLEPT turned out to be incorrect, but that clue indicated what the answer was.
Wordle #269

Playing my usual SALET as a first guess worked well today.

With the clues provided, there was only one possible word, TEASE, remaining.

Wordle #270
Ten words are still possible after the first guess: CATER, EATEN, EATER, HATER, MATEY, TAKEN, TAKER, TAMER, TAPER, WATER

EATER, for example, is a much better guess than MATEY.  If MATEY is not correct, I determined it still might leave five choices.  At worst, if EATER is not correct, it will only leave three choices..  Thus, this is my play and as expected, it did leave three choices.  (I did not expect to get lucky on a one in ten guess.)

After EATER is played, with the clues provided from this guess there are just three possible words left:  CATER, HATER, or WATER. 

Playing any of them won't provide any additional feedback if incorrect.

I don't like solving the puzzle in five tries... which it now might take me if I guess wrong.  Thus, I'll use a "probing word" to narrow it down so that I'm able to solve today's puzzle by Row 4. 

does just that.  I received a hit on the C, indicating CATER was correct.  (If the H received a hit the answer would have been HATER and if the W received a hit, the answer would have been WATER.)

Wordle #271
Ouch!  Close to the worst feedback I could get after my first guess.  Lots and lots of words remain possible.

As you can see, I chose not to include an E in my second guess.  I wanted to introduce as many new letters as possible.  That was probably a wise decision since just seven words remain possible after the feedback I received from my second guess:  BIOME, EQUIP, IMBUE, MOVIE, PIECE, PIQUE, PIXIE

A couple of these words  (BIOME, IMBUE) are somewhat obscure... but they are in the Wordle word list and if a word is chosen randomly from this list, they could just as well be the solution as any of the others.

I think EQUIP is my best guess.  I certainly don't want to guess BIOME because if I do and it's incorrect, and if my feedback is -g--g then I won't know if the answer is PIECE, PIQUE, or PIXIE, which fits all three of those words. 

Good.  After the feedback from EQUIP, only MOVIE is possible after the third guess.
Wordle #272

This result is identical to World #269Playing SALET as a first guess worked well.  With the clues provided, there was only one possible word, SAUTE, remaining.

Wordle #273

Eleven words are still possible after the clues provided from the initial guess:  AGLOW, ALLAY, ALLOW, ALLOY, BYLAW, INLAY, LILAC, MOLAR, POLAR, POLKA, and VILLA.

Notice that VILLA would be a terrible second guess if it turns out to be incorrect.  It's the only word that has a V in it, and only two other words contain Is, INLAY and LILAC.  If VILLA is wrong and INLAY or LILAC were correct we'd know it... but if those two words also were not the answer, we wouldn't have eliminated any of the others.

I believe the best guess is ALLAY or ALLOY.  As it turns out, the solution is known after the feedback given from ALLOY.
Wordle #274

107 words are still possible after the clues provided from the initial guess. 

A lot of these words, like RUPEE or QUEER or HYPER or EMCEE would be a bad second guess in Row 2.  They wouldn't provide much additional feedback if incorrect.  However, words like DINER or FINER or CIDER or CRIED, etc, which all uses much more common letters, are much better guesses.

As it turns out, after the information provided from DINER, only one word, RENEW, remains possible.

Wordle #275

Seriously?  Two rows?  Jeez, even I have a hard time believing this. 

After my initial guess, there were 52 words still possible.  Some of them, like QUOTE or TWEET or DETOX would have been poor second guesses.  If wrong, they wouldn't have eliminated many words.

THEIR was a much better guess compared to many other words, simply because if wrong, it would have eliminated a lot of others.  Other good guesses would have been TRITE, THERE, TRIPE, etc.

There are 260 letters within the 52 remaining possible words.  (52 x 5)  Of those 260 letters, 59 of them are Ts, 56 of them are Es, 24 are Rs, 19 are Is, and 15 are Hs.  Those letters, of course, anagram to make the word THEIR.

I've solved puzzles in two rows a few times before.  But on all of those occasions, their was only one possible word remaining , or two, or three.  This guess was a 1 in 52 shot.

If you don't believe it, I don't blame you.  I hardly believe it myself when the puzzle revealed five green boxes.  But this wasn't even fun.  What's fun is using logic to figure out the best guess, from the clues provided.  When you get lucky and solve a solution like this, it takes all of the fun out of it.

This puzzle ties the lowest number of "Clue Points" I've received.  Just two orange boxes, at one point each, equals two Clue Points.  (The other puzzle with two Clue Points was Wordle #267.)


Wordle #276

24 words remain possible after my first guess.

I considered playing a probing word like PORKY.  There are a lot of Os and Ks and Ys in the 24 words that remain.  I thought I might get a lot feedback with PORKY, and I'd love to solve this puzzle in three rows.

Instead I chose one of the 24 possible words, SLINK.  While not correct, it reduced the 24 possible words down to six:  SLOOP, SLOSH, SLUMP, SLURP, SLUSH, and SLYLY.

Notice how SLYLY would have been a terrible guess!  If it's wrong, it wouldn't eliminate any of the other five words!  (Its extra letters, YLY, aren't used in any of the other words!)

and SLURP appear to be the two best guesses.  As you can see, I chose SLURP.  It wasn't correct and now, both SLOSH and SLYLY remain possible.

As you can see, I guessed correctly with SLOSH.

After the puzzle, I figured out that RUMPY is a valid guess and if I had entered that guess as a probing word on Row 3, it would have guaranteed a win on Row 4.  Although SLURP had a one in six chance of being correct, it didn't guarantee a win by Row 4.  Notice how RUMPY uses all of the letters I was interested in.  Since I don't like solving the puzzle in five rows, I would have chosen RUMPY if it had I thought of it.

In hindsight, PORKY as my second guess would have been a good play after all!  It would have reduced the list of possible words down to just three:  SCOLD, SCOWL, and SLOSH.  However, I wouldn't have picked SLOSH out of those three words.  It would have been a poor guess.  If wrong, I still wouldn't know if it was SCOLD or SCOWL.  But if I pick SCOLD or SCOWL, if wrong I would know the answer.  So maybe I was destined to get this puzzle in four rows regardless.

Wordle #277

Arrgh!  Same result after one guess as Wordle #271; there's an E somewhere in the answer, but it's location is unknown, other than knowing it is not in the the fourth position, of course.

For that puzzle I decided to use a probing word, in an attempt to gain a bit more information than I normally would.  With 163 possible answers still possible, I'm don't expect to solve it in two rows.

I chose GRIND in Wordle #271, and it didn't turn out to badly so let's try it again.

Hmmm... about the same result.  After GRIND there are just six possible answers:  FORGE, MERGE, PURGE, ROGUE, ROUGE, or VERGE.

Four of those words all end in RGE, so it might come down to another guess, even after this upcoming guess.  And I can see that even if I knew the last four letters were ERGE, that would still leave both MERGE and VERGE as possible answers.  Let's
try to avoid that scenario, and guess MERGE now.

Nope, it's not MERGE and that sill leave FORGE and PURGE as possible answers.  Darn.  Another 50-50 guess situation and if wrong, I'm solving it in five rows, something I want to avoid doing.

As you can see, I got lucky with PURGE.

Before my next puzzle I should attempt to figure out if GRIND is a decent word to chose as a second guess when SALET receives a single yellow E.
Wordle #278

Not a lot to say about this puzzle. 

Just seven words remain possible after the first guess:  CREST, CHEST, GUEST, QUEST, WREST, HEIST, and EXIST

After playing CREST, with the feedback received, only CHEST remains possible.

Wordle #279

22 words remain possible after the first guess.

After the second guess, only four words remain possible: DEBIT, DEBUT, BEFIT, and DEPOT.

DEBIT or DEBUT are better guesses than DEPOT.  If DEPOT is wrong, it still might be DEBIT or DEPUT.   However, DEBIT, if wrong,  would reveal the answer, so that's our guess.

Wordle #280

words remain possible after my standard first guess.  Yet after my second guess, DECOR, only 13 words remain possible:

I see a couple of Zs and Vs and a K and an X and a Y.  Whatever the answer is, this word is going to give some people problems.

I think OVINE is my best guess.  It's certainly not GOUGE, with the double Gs and the U, which won't help me at all if it's wrong.  It's also not EPOXY for the same reason.  (The only word with an X and a Y.) 

has lots of common letters and should help to narrow down the answer.

Ah, it does.  With the feedback given after OVINE, only EPOXY is still valid.

Wordle #281

Receiving no feedback at all from SALET leaves a whopping 221 possible words still remaining.  This is the largest number of words still possible from the guess SALET.  So I've really got my work cut out for me.

I was already prepared for this possibility.  Many days ago I determined that ROUND was a good guess under these circumstances.  Imagine my surprise when this word returned just one colored box, a yellow one!

However, after ROUND, I determined there are only ten words still possible.  CINCH, PINCH, FINCH, WINCH, PINKY, KINKY, NINNY, MINIM, CYNIC, and NYMPH.

I spent about 30 minutes attempting to come up with the best guess, not only of these ten words, but possibly using a probing word.  I didn't want to get into a situation where, for example, CINCH, PINCH, FINCH and WINCH were all possible, and then I'd be guessing, or forced to use a probing word or two to further narrow it down.  Ideally, I think my probing word would need to include a C, a P, a F, and a  W.  Alas, I could come up with no word that fit that criteria.  (If the system allowed it, my probing word would have been CFWPY.)

WIMPY, although not a possible word, seemed like it might be a good guess, as would the word CAMPY

As you can see, I ended up going with NYMPH.  It seemed like a better guess than some of the other words and it had the added bonus of a one in ten chance of being correct.

Imagine my surprise when everything flipped green.  A lucky one in ten shot.  Truly amazing.  Furthermore, this word might stump a few others, and I was able to solve it in three rows.

Finally, this puzzle this breaks my record for the fewest "Clue Points" received.   My only clue was a single yellow box, worth 1 point.

Wordle #282

As mentioned in the previous puzzle, receiving no feedback at all from SALET leaves 221 possible words still remaining.

As before, I played the word ROUND for my second guess.  (If I had received the exact same feedback as yesterday, a single yellow box for the letter N, I would have suspected I was playing the same puzzle!)  As it turns out, with four green boxes, this is indeed a new puzzle. 

After the second guess there are just six words remaining:  BOUND, FOUND, HOUND, MOUND, POUND, or WOUND.  (SOUND has been eliminated from the clues provided from the first guess.  LOUND has also been eliminated for the same reason, but that word, although a valid guess, has been removed from the list of possible answers.)

I must use a probing word word to guarantee I'm able to solve the puzzle at all.  Otherwise it could possibly take six guesses before I get it right... and I only have four guesses left.

If I play WHOMP, which uses four of the six letters I'm looking for, I'll either know the answer for a solve in Row 4, or I'll have a 50-50 guess on Row 4. 

did not reveal the solution, but we now know it's either BOUND or FOUND.  As you can see, I guessed correctly.

Wordle #283

Only 13 words remain possible after my standard initial guess:  SHALL, SMALL, SHAWL, SNAIL, SCALD, SCALP, SCALY, SNARL, SLAIN, SLACK, SLANG, SLASH, and SHOAL

I spent a bunch of time attempting to figure out my next best guess.  It definitely wouldn't be SHOAL or SHAWL.  I figured out that seven words might remain possible after that guess.

I spent time looking at probing words, like LINAC.  Note that this word doesn't contain an S, but I'm not worried about words with the letter S.  I know where the S is.  I'm looking for as much information as I can get from this second guess.

SHALL, a possible word, seems to be a better guess than some of the other possible words. Imagine my surprise when all of the words flipped green.  A lucky 1 in 13 shot, which I'm actually not happy with.  I like to solve it in as few rows as possible, but not by getting lucky.  (You've heard the expression, it's better to be lucky than good?  Well, not to me.  I've always wanted to be good than just lucky.)

This is my first solve in two rows since Wordle #275.

Wordle #284

Only 11 words remain possible after the initial guess: STORE, STOKE, STONE, STOVE, SMOTE, SMITE, SPITE, SUITE, STERN, STEIN, and SETUP.

Rather than choose one of those possible words, I thought I'd try an informative impossible.  (A probing word.)  PINTO seems like a good word, since win the remaining possible words there are a few Is and Ns, and Os and Ps.  Depending upon the answer, the feedback I get from PINTO could reveal the answer! 

Alas, it did not... but it did narrow it down to just three possible answers:  STOKE, STORE, or STOVE.

Note all three words are identical, other than the fourth letter.  Darn.  If I start guessing, I might not get it until the Row 5, something I want to avoid doing.  So, let's play another probing word, to guarantee a solution in four rows.  Any word with a K and an R, or a K and a V, or an R and a V will work.  (I don't believe there is a five letter word containing a K, R, and a V, but if so that word would have worked too.)

RAKES is a good probing word and since the R and the K in RAKES received no colored boxes, the answer must be STOVE.

Instead of a probing word for Row 2, I was also considering just playing the word STORE, which is a possible answer.  If so, in hindsight, I would have received four green boxes and three words, STOKE, STONE, and STOVE would have all still been possible.  I would have been in the same boat on Row 3... with three words left as I was in the actual puzzle.
Wordle #285

98 words remain possible after the initial guess.  After the second guess, I believe just LOBBY, LOWLY, LORRY, NOBLY, LOGIN, LIMBO, and LINGO remain possible.

I couldn't come up with a probing word for Row 3 that would guarantee a solve on Row 4.  However, depending upon the answer, a few of the remaining words as guesses would reveal the solution, so I went ahead and simply guessed with NOBLY, a possible.  As you can see, NOBLY wasn't correct but after that guess, on LOWLY remains possible.

Wordle #286

And this, my friends, is how you play a probing word, an "informative impossible," to solve a puzzle in three rows., without a "lucky guess."

After my standard first guess, there are 19 possible words remaining;  These are. of course, all of the words that start with an S, end in a T, and do not contain an A, an L or an E.  They are: SHORT, SHOUT, STOUT, SPORT, SPOUT, SHIRT, SNORT, SNOUT, SCOUT, SHOOT, SHIFT, SHUNT, SKIRT, SPURT, STINT, STRUT, STUNT, SWIFT, and SIGHT.

We know where the S is.  We know where the T is.  What we don't know are what the other three letters are.  As show above, they could be Os or Is or Ns or Hs or Ps or Rs or Cs or Ws or Gs, etc., etc.  There's also the possibility of a K in there, another T...

It's most likely best if I use all five columns to help hunt down the unknown letters, and not just use the three unknown columns.

If you count all of the unknown letters that are possible from the above list of 20 words, there are large number of Os and Rs and Hs and Is and Ns, compared to say, the number of Ks and Ws, and Gs and Cs and Fs.  A good probing word, therefore, is something like RHINO, which uses all of these more frequent letters.

As it turns out, after this probing word, there is only one possible answer; SNOUT.
Wordle #287

I was somewhat surprised to see TRITE, a possible answer for my second guess, receive three green boxes.  This narrows things down considerably.  The answer must either be TROPE, TROVE, or TRUCE.

Can you see why TRUCE would not be a good guess?  If wrong, the feedback will be ggbbg.  We still won't know what the answer is, as that feedback fits both TROPE and TROVE.  Thus, either TROPE or TROVE is a better guess.  If either of these two guesses are wrong, we'll know the solution. 

As you can see, I guessed wrong with TROVE.  UPDATE:  I've just been informed TROVE was the answer to a February puzzle.  Ha!  I didn't know that, especially since I didn't start playing until March.

Wordle #288

There are still 14 words that are possible after my second guess: RUDER, PURER, REFER, BUYER, QUEER, DEFER, FEVER, FEWER, UPPER, HYPER, UDDER, EMBER, RUPEE, and PUREE. 

After my third guess, there are still four valid answers:  FEVER, FEWER, DEFER, and EMBER

I can see that EMBER would be a bad guess,  If wrong, all three other possibilities would still be valid... we wouldn't have eliminated anything.

or FEWER are both good guesses.  As you can see, I got somewhat lucky with FEWER, which was a one in four shot of being correct.  (If wrong, I would have known the answer but it also would have taken me a full five rows... something that's only happened once before.)

This is now the fourth puzzle in the past five in which it took me a full four rows to solve the puzzle.

Wordle #289

The feedback received after the first row is identical to a recent puzzle, Wordle #283. 

Just as in that puzzle, of course, the same 13 words remain possible after my initial guess:  SHALL, SMALL, SHAWL, SNAIL, SCALD, SCALP, SCALY, SNARL, SLAIN, SLACK, SLANG, SLASH, and SHOAL.

Actually, since SHALL was the answer to Puzzle #283, there were really only 12 possible words possible, since the  NY Times is not repeating answers.  However, I'm not checking the list of prior puzzles to see what words have already been used as answers.  (Maybe I should be.)

So in hindsight, I blew it... I shouldn't have guessed SHALL again.

However, after doing so, with the feedback received, only SHAWL is a possible answer, for another solve in three rows.

Instead of SHALL, a good probing word might be a word that includes a C, an N, and an H, (like CHINS) since I see a few of those letters in the 13 possible remaining words.

Wordle #290

Not much to say about this game.  After the initial guess, only three words remain possible.  FATAL, NATAL, and LATCH.

LATCH would have been a very poor guess.  If wrong, it wouldn't have eliminated the other two, as both would still be possible.  Thus, I should chose either FATAL or NATAL.  If either is wrong, I will know the answer.

As you can see, I guessed poorly.

Ha!  I just determined 283 words remain possible for all of those players who played ADIEU, believing it to be the best starting word!!  (I just posted a short article in one of the Wordle forums, on why that word is not ideal as a starter.)

Wordle #291

Beginning with this game, I'm not going to consider words that have already been prior answers.

I figure if the NY Times is not going to randomize each day's word, like they should be doing, there's no reason why I shouldn't take advantage of that, and keep track of each day's word, so that I don't ever enter a previously used word as a valid guess.

After my second guess, GRAIN, there are just three words left. COCOA, COMMA, and MOCHA.  Either guess is as good as another, and after either guess the answer will be known.  Like yesterday, I had a one in three chance of being correct, and I guessed poorly again.

Another example of the advantages of SALET over ADIEU.  After my first guess, 88 words were still valid.  ADIEU users had to cope with 249 remaining words.

Wordle #292

Same first row feedback as yesterday. 

This time, six possibilities exist after GRAIN: ABHOR, BORAX, COBRA, FORAY, RUMBA, UMBRA

(Gosh, I hope it's BORAX.  That answer will throw a lot of people.)

There is no better guess than COBRA.  After COBRA, if wrong, the answer will be known.   That can't be said for any of the other possible words.

I guessed incorrectly with COBRA... but I don't expect to hit one in six shots very often.

Wordle #293

I spent about 30 minutes on my second guess, in an attempt to come up with something worthwhile.  There are 20 words that are still valid, but I'm not sure which of them, if any, makes the best guess.  I see a possibility of a SHADE, SHALE, SHAME, SHAPE, SHARE type of endgame, and if I can avoid that now, so much the better.

I think the best word is going to be a good probing word... one that doesn't include an S.  (I know where the S is.  Best to use all available columns to get as much more information as I can.)  As I analyze the 20 remaining possible words, there are a lot of Ps, Rs, and Hs with those word.  If I can find a probing word that uses these three letters, along with an A or an E in a different position than in the first guess, that should help.

As you can see, I went with the probing word PHARM.  That left either SNARE or SCAREI chose SNARE which was a poor choice again.

Seven of my past ten games have finished in exactly four rows.

Wordle #294

Only 12 words remain possible after SALET STACK, STAID, STAIN, STAIR, STAMP, STANK, STARK, STASH, STRAP, STRAW, STRAY, and SWATH.  I feel there's probably a good probing word, to guarantee a solution on Row 3.

I went with PRINK, five all new letters, many of which are present in the above 12 words.

PRINK worked okay.  I now know all five letters and STAIR is the only remaining possibility answer.

This puzzle used zero "guesses."  SALET, since I know it's not a possible solution, is not a guess.  It's a probing word.  PRINK is also not a possible answer, so it's technically also not a "guess" but another probing word.  And of course STAIR isn't a "guess" either... since I know it's the solution.  Two probing words = solution.

Wordle #295

63 words remain possible after playing SALET.  (Normally it would be 66 but three of them, FOCAL, OFFAL and  VIRAL, have already been an answer to a prior puzzle.) 

Within those 63 words there are 20 Is, 19 Os, 16 Rs, 16 Ns, and 15 Cs.  These five letters anagram to CORNI, a valid guess.  I suspect WordleBot will give me a high score for this informative impossible.  (Wow.  Update:  Not only did it give it a high score, it gave it THE highest score possible... and said that's the word it would have chosen.)

Sure enough, only two words, BLACK and FLACK are still possible. 

Alas, I guessed wrong again.

Wordle #296

As you can see, I decided to try a different starting word today.   I know ROATE is also a very good starting word.

SALET would have been a better choice again today.  Only 37 words would have been possible with SALET.  Instead, I've got 100 to content with.  (111 if I don't filter out the answers that fit that have already been used.)

It will be interesting to see what skill rating WordleBot scores for my second guess, SLIMY.  Edit:  It said "Wonderful choice.  You cut the number of solutions down from 111 to three."  However, WordleBot's choice, CANAL, apparently would have cut the solutions down to 1.  Seriously?

So, SCUBA was a 1 in three shot.  I missed, but we then know SQUAD is the answer.

5 of my last 6 games have finished with exactly four rows.

Wordle #297

As you can see, I went back to SALET for the monent.

WordleBot comments:

SALET is one of my favorite opening words. On average, someone who guesses SALET will cut the 2,309 possible Wordle solutions to just 71.  (SKILL 99, LUCK 43)

CORNI Impressive vocabulary! And, well done! This is exactly what I would’ve guessed in this situation. And you’ve narrowed it down to one possible solution. You should solve the puzzle on your next turn. SKILL, LUCK 87

ROYAL There was only one possible solution left — and you got it! Well done. SKILL 99

I knew to use CORNI as a second play when the A and the L receive a yellow box from Wordle #295.

Since SALET and CORNI are both not valid answers, this is another example where two probing words = solution on 3rd row!  (The first example was Wordle #294, just three games ago.)

Wordle #298

No colored boxes with my first probing word, SALET.  This is the first time with no colored boxes in Row 1 since Puzzle #282.  

I went with ROUND for Row 2 back on Puzzle #282 and #282.  Let's try that word again.

Wow, ROUND turned out to be a VERY lucky guess.  With the feedback given, there is now only one possible answer, CHUCK.  I suspect many more solutions, on the average, are possible.  (Edit.  Not as many as I thought.  WordleBot says only 6.4 solutions, on the average, are possible.) 

I suspect a WordleBot Skill Rating of 99, along with a Luck Rating of 91, has to be a new high for these two combined ratings.

WordleBot comments:

SALET is one of my favorite opening words. On average, someone who guesses SALET will cut the 2,309 possible Wordle solutions to just 71. Unfortunately for you, this time 221 solutions remained. (This is the unluckiest possible outcome for this starting word.)

ROUND Well done! This is exactly what I would’ve guessed in this situation. And you’ve narrowed it down to one possible solution. You should solve the puzzle on your next turn.

CHUCK There was only one possible solution left — and you got it! Well done.


Wordle #299

I noticed I used GRIND as my second guess when I receive an E with a yellow box, back on Puzzle #271 and #277.  However, I think I figured out later that DECOR was a better guess.  (See Puzzle #280.)   Whoops.  Oh, well.

I see WordleBot prefers DRONE here, instead of GRIND, and then GROIN and the DIRGE.

Just four answer remain possible after GRIND (ENNUI, MINCE, NICHE, and NIECE) and it seems ENNUI wasn't the best choice at all.  MINCE if wrong, apparently would have eliminated all others.

Not one of my better games.

Edit.  Actually, my play isn't as bad as WordleBot thinks it was.   The Bot believed there were five words left, after GRIND.  Not true.  One of them, WINCE, has already been used an answer.  Thus, WordleBot thinks I got lucky with MINCE, thinking that WINCE was still possible.  I knew it wasn't possible.

Wordle #300

19 solutions remain possible after the feedback from SALET.  The words are SEDAN, SEPIA, SHADE, SHAME, SHAPE, SHARE, SHAVE, SHEAR, SMEAR, SNAKE, SNARE, SNEAK, SPACE, SPADE, SPARE, SPEAK, SPEAR, SUAVE, and SWEAR.

As I suspected, the best Row 2 play, according to WordleBot, is another probing word.  (It likes CHIRP.)  I played a possible solution, SPARE

With this play just five words remain possible.  SHADE, SHAME, SHAVE, SNAKE, SUAVE.

Notice that if the answer is any of the first three possibilities, guessing either of those three won't gives us any new information.  I'll receive a GGG-G pattern and it could be either of the other two. 

However, SNAKE and SUAVE as plays are even worse.  If I play that word and it's wrong, I might receive a G-G-G pattern and it could be any of the first three. 

So, I think it best if I played a probing word, which unfortunately still won't guarantee on Row 4.  As it turns out it did... but I was lucky.

Wordle #301

97 words are possible, not 107, after my first play.  (WordleBot says 107 but I know prior solutions won't be used again.)

Edit:  Reminder.  WordleBot prefers DINER after a single green E.)

After ORCIN, just one possible word, CHEEK, remains.  ORCIN will get a very high luck rating since most of the time more than one word will remain after that play.  (But it's also one of the top plays to make, so it will get a high Skill Rating from WordleBot too.)
Wordle #302

SALET, GNARL, and SPIKE are all probing words.  Each word could not possibly be the solution.  After playing SPIKE in Row 3, only AMPLE was still possible.

Wordle #303

was my play back in Puzzle #295 and #297, when the A and the L each received a yellow box.  Let's try that again.

That worked well.  After CORNI just four words remain possible.  FLAIR, FRAIL, GRAIL and RIVAL.

s obviously a bad guess.  If wrong, it still might be either FRAIL or GRAIL and we won't know which one.  If so, we might not solve it until Row 5.  However, if we select any of the other words, if wrong, the solution will be known and we solve it in 4.

Well, FRAIL was wrong but now we know it's FLAIR.

Four out of the past five games have now all finished on Row 4.

Wordle #304

This is yet another game in which every play, including my first play, was a probing word.

Oh my gosh, I couldn't pin down the word!!   This is only my second puzzle which took me a full five rows!!

However, WORDLEBOT ALSO TAKES FIVE ROWS FOR THIS WORD!!!  Furthermore, Wordlebot says my Skill Rating is near perfect on every play:

SALET = 99
ORCIN = 96
WHOMP = 99
RUGBY = 99
FOYER = 99

Edit:  Reminder.  WordleBot prefers DINER after a single green E.)

Well, I was initially disappointed it took me five rows to nail it down... but now I feel a lot better knowing I played with such a high Skill Rating and the fact that WordleBot also takes five rows to solve it.  (Its solution is CRANE - BESET - POLIO - RHYME - FOYER)

After ORCIN there are 13 possible answers: BOXER, FOYER, HOMER, HOVER, JOKER, MOVER, MOWER, POKER, POWER, RODEO, ROGER, ROVER, ROWER.  (Not 14, as WordleBot reports, since I know WOOER has already been used as a previous answer.)

Well, after ORCIN, I can see the letter O is always in second position.  I also know the most likely spot for the R... in last position.  However, notice how many words fit this pattern:  -O-ER.  There's just no way to cover all possibilities with a single probing word.  It required two for me.

Great puzzle.  I'll bet I see a few people who aren't able to nail it down at all.  Not everyone will be able to come up with probing words like WHOMP and RUGBY, which use a lot of the unknown letters. 

Sure enough, here's just a small, small sample of the problems others were having.  (Notice the one thing they have in common?  Yep, they did not use any probing words, and instead just tried to guess.)


Wordle #305

No problems with this puzzle, especially compared to yesterday. 

WordleBot also would have chosen CORNY, and after that guess, only CARGO remains.

Wordle #306

I learned from Puzzle #299 that when the letter E gets a yellow box, WordleBot likes the word DRONE.

That worked well..  With the feedback from DRONE, there's now only one possible solution, OXIDE.
Wordle #307

My third puzzle in row in which it took just three rows to solve it.  And each of the past three games, after two probing words, the last "guess" isn't even a guess at all... the solution is known.

Only six words were still possible after SALET was played:  ADULT, BLOAT, FLOAT, GLOAT, PLAIT, PLANT.  Notice how FLING is a perfect probing word.  It will guarantee the solution on the 3rd row.

Wordle #308

Wow, my streak continues!  This is my fourth consecutive solve in three rows AND my fourth consecutive solve in which I didn't "guess" at all. 

To clarify, the first two words I used could not have been the solution, but with the feedback provided, there as only one possible solution for Row 3, just like in games #305, #306, and #307.  So the third word isn't a "guess" since I know it's the answer.  This was true for the prior three games as well.

Note for next time.  WordleBot likes BEIGE when the L and the E each receive a yellow box.  (BEIGE will get a Skill Rating of 99, while GEOID only received a rating of 92.)

Wordle #309

Apparently the word CURIO, of all words, according to WordleBot, is a better guess than ERECT, after receiving a yellow E and a green T, from SALET

as a guess, although a possible word, and the word I used back in Puzzle #279, only receives a Skill Rating of 88.

After ERECT I was down to just two choices... OVERT and INERT. I chose poorly.

Arggh!   There goes my streak of solving it in three rows.
Wordle #310

A rare solve in two rows.  After SALET, there are only two words remaining, ASKEW and ASHEN

Yesterday I was on the wrong side of a 50-50 choice, but as you can see, this time I guessed correctly.

As always, WordleBot, gives SALET the highest possible Skill Rating... but in this case it also gets the highest possible Luck Rating, since SALET reduced the possibilities down from 2,308 to 2!
Wordle #311

Only six words remain possible after the feedback from SALETCREST, EXIST, GUEST, HEIST, QUEST, and WREST.  This means  the two unknown letters are either CR, XI, GU, HI, QU, or WR.

It didn't take long to come up with QUICH as a probing word, which uses letters from five of those six groups.  WordleBot likes it too, and gives QUICH a Skill Rating of 99.

After the feedback from QUICH, only HEIST remains possible.

Wordle #312

52 words remain possible after my first play.

WordleBot prefers UNHIP, rather than KORUN, for its second play.  I'll have to remember that the next time I receive a green S.

After KORUN, just four words are possible.  SCION, SHOWN, SPOON, and SWOON.  Guessing correctly with SHOWN, therefore, was a 1 in 4 shot.

Wordle #313

Just eight words remain possible after the feedback from SALET.  (WordleBot will say there are nine possible words, but one of those possibilities, THESE, has been a prior answer.) 


Upon further analyzing this puzzle afterward, I should have guessed TESTY.  It's nearly as good of a guess as TENTY, but it has the addend bonus of having a one in eight shot of being correct.  Alas, I played too quickly.  It will be interesting to see what WordleBot thinks.

TENTY, was a well chosen probing word that guarantees the solution on Row 3.

Edit:  Sure enough, WordleBot does like TENTY... but it also gives the same Skill Rating (99) to TESTY, THOSE, TEENS, TEENY, TORTE, PEERS, TROTS, TORTS, TOOTH, and several other words.

It's rare for me to do better than WordleBot, but this time SALET worked out better than CRANE.  since it took WordleBot took four rows to solve this puzzle.

Wordle #314

A rare solve in two rows, mostly due to luck.

With the feedback received, only three words remain possible after playing SALETARTSY, TRASH, and VISTA.

This is another great example of how some guesses are much better than other guesses. 

If you guess VISTA, and it's not correct, the feedback received will be xxYYY.... and thus you won't know whether it is ARTSY or TRASH.

However, if you guess TRASH and it's not correct, your feedback will either be YxYYx (if the solution is VISTA), or YGYG (is the solution is ARTSY)... and thus you will know the solution.  (If you guess ARTSY, the feedback received will also reveal the solution.)

So either of these two guesses is a much better guess than VISTA.  If you guess VISTA, you might not solve it until Row 4.  If you guess ARTSY or TRASH, you are guaranteed to solve it by Row 3.

WordleBot agrees.  TRASH and ARTSY both are given a Skill Rating of 99.  VISTA is only given a Skill Rating of 69.

I suspect 99% of all other players who enjoy solving these puzzles aren't taking the time to do this, to attempt to determine which guess is best when given multiple choices, which is my average row per solution is so low.
Wordle #315

Ha!  WordleBot think there are 18 possibilities left after SALET.  Actually, because we are keeping track of the past solutions, we know there are only 13 possibles.

After LIGAN, only LARVA remains possible.

It's not been several games since I've needed four rows to solve a puzzle.



If you didn't notice, I have yet to use six rows to solve any puzzle. 
I don't think I'll ever need to.

I also think it will be rare when I'm forced to use a full five rows. 
That's only happened twice so far.

If I continue to use SALET as my first guess, I'll never stumble on a solution
in Row 1, since SALET is not a possible answer.  I use that guess, however,
since I've read that it's one of the best, if not the best, first guesses,
to narrow down your search space of available words.

I expect most all puzzles will require me to use 3 or 4 rows.
Every once in a while I'll be able to solve it in 2 rows,
and every 25 puzzles or so, it will take me a full 5 rows.



the feedback received from using the word SALET as a first guess will reveal the solution... there will be only one possible word remaining!  (Three of these 34 words, LAPSE, SAUTE, and TEAST, have already been the answer to the puzzle, since I've been playing.)


the feedback received from using the word SALET as a first guess will give me a 50-50 possibility on Row 2... since only two words will remain possible!  Thus, half of this time, on the average, I'll guess correctly for a solve in two rows, and the other half of the time I'll guess incorrectly, for a solve in three rows.  (Two of these 38 words, ASKEW and SWEET, have already been the answer to the puzzle, since I've been playing.)



Say adieu to ADIEU

ADIEU is very over-rated as a starting word.  I see several people who mention they often start with ADIEU, apparently because it "contains a lot of vowels." 

So what.

That's exactly why you should not use it.  Words with "a lot" of vowels are not ideal. There are a lot more consonants than vowels, of course, and you should attempt to nail these consonants down faster than vowels.

I'm sure you've seen those sentences in which every vowel has been removed from the words... but yet you can still read the sentence anyway! Missing vowels are usually easier to guess than missing consonants.

Also, the U isn't a frequently occurring letter... and the letter D occurs even less often than U!

Out of the past 60 games for example, consisting of exactly 300 letters, only 12 of those letters were Us. The number of Ds is even less. Of those 300 letters, just ten of those letters were Ds.

Compare that to the number of Os (26), the number of Ts (25), the number of Ls (23), and the number of Rs (21) during that same span. These four letters are all better letters to choose than U and D.

Out of the past 30 games there's been just five Us (FOCUS, SAUTE, PURGE, FOUND, SNOUT) and four Ds (HOARD, TODAY, DEPOT, and FOUND).

Ideally, the better starting words will consist of what I call the Elegant Eight... the letters A, E, I, L, O, R, S, T. Words using these letters are going to be more successful for you than ADIEU.

When you play ADIEU you often get feedback that tells you that you got one of the vowels right (usually in the wrong place), and that's it!

Finally, for those of you who might also have been hoping for a perfect guess on the first row, it won't be with ADIEU. That word is a valid guess but it's been removed from the list of valid answers.

Say adieu to ADIEU.



Just for fun, I wrote a program to compare the effectiveness of any two different starting words. I wanted to compare any two different starting words to see which word performed better over the past x number of puzzles.

The program compares the number of possible words remaining after the first guess with each starting word. (The lower the number of words still possible after each guess, the better, of course.)

For example, in the chart below I compare my usual starting word, SALET vs a common starting word, ADIEU. I wanted to confirm that ADIEU is not a good starting word.

I looked at 60 recent puzzles, Wordle #231 through Wordle #290.

As you can see, in just 18 of those 60 puzzles did ADIEU perform better. SALET was the better choice 42 times out of 60... which is about seven times out of ten.

More importantly, after selecting SALET as your first guess, the average number of words still possible is just 70.2. Compare that to 126.5 words still possible, after playing ADIEU.

Notice that 8 times out of these 60 puzzles, choosing SALET reduced the list of remaining words to just 10 or less! There was just one puzzle (Wordle #258) where ADIEU can say the same thing.



For fun... a Wordle Puzzle:

Your first play is PIGHT, a valid play. (Pight means to pitch or set up a tent.)

The last four letters are all displayed in green. Hooray!  You then realize, to your horror, the answer could be any of the following nine words: EIGHT, FIGHT, LIGHT, MIGHT, NIGHT, RIGHT, SIGHT, TIGHT, or WIGHT.

Question:  What are the six different words you could play on Row #2, that not only will help to guarantee you solve the puzzle on Row #4, but will also give you a 55.6% chance that you solve the puzzle on Row 3?