What a yr it has been for Wordle. Software program engineer Josh Wardle made the sport public in 2021, and The New York Occasions purchased it for a whopping seven figures in January 2022. I do not suppose I’ve began a day with out it since then. Or, I ought to say, ended a day… the Occasions posts a brand new puzzle at midnight, and I am normally up at that hour. Fixing Wordle is likely one of the final issues I do earlier than I fall asleep each night time.

I might go so far as to say that Wordle, greater than any TV present, film, guide or podcast, has been my favourite pop-culture escape of 2022. I do not sweat about streaks — if I swing for the fences on the final guess and miss, eh, who cares? Additionally, I am not large on sharing my outcomes. I am by no means enthusiastic about how lengthy it took another person to get the reply, and I assume they’re equally tired of me.

However I’m enthusiastic about ideas and methods and finest starter phrases to resolve the puzzle. I feel it is OK to vary your technique as you go — and I do know that the extra I’ve performed, the extra my technique has sharpened. This is what I’ve discovered from a yr of near-obsessive Wordleing. 

1. Starter phrases are so essential

You can begin guessing with any phrase, however mentally, I would like stable phrase to begin me off robust. I used to make use of ADIEU, probably the most primary of primary starter phrases, as a result of I favored having so many vowels. However after a yr of taking part in, I made a decision I like mixing in in style consonants. My favourite starter is TRAIN, which provides me a few of the most popularly used consonants, plus two vowels. I are inclined to go subsequent to CLOSE, after which BUMPY. However generally, TRAIN offers me so many letters that I begin guessing straight away with a phrase that appears to suit the sample.

Readers despatched me a few of their favourite combos, which I am conserving in my again pocket for after I need to change issues up. It is fascinating that two of their starter phrases begin with “TR,” identical to my standby, TRAIN.

Comply with the TREND

From Randy: “TREND is at all times first phrase. If there isn’t any E, then GHOUL. If there may be an E, I skip to JAMBS. Final phrase is PICKY.”

Later, Randy modified issues up barely: “I actually like TREND, FLASH, GUMBO, PICKY. Like in ‘Wheel of Fortune,’ RSTINE are in TREND and FLASH. 4 phrases, all letters besides QWZXVJ.”

Follow the TRAIL

Jeff was on a 206-game streak when he despatched in his high three starters, which initially had been TRAIL, CONES and DUMPY. 

He later modified CONES to SCONE, noting that in Wordle, “S” infrequently exhibits on the finish of a phrase, for the reason that NYT editors mentioned publicly they will not use common plurals (that means the phrase won’t ever be a easy plural, like FOXES or SPOTS, phrases that simply add an S or ES to a singular phrase. However it is likely to be a plural that is extra advanced, like GEESE).


Rusty reported having good luck together with his first identify as the primary starter phrase. 

“The primary three ought to be RUSTY, PLACE, BOING or BOINK,” he mentioned. “That final phrase is determined by if there’s a C or an L that was matched but.”


And my finest good friend, Lisa, a faithful Wordle participant, is doing very effectively today with ROAST as her starter phrase. Typically, to change it up, she begins with BEAST.

2. Do not forget that letters can be utilized greater than as soon as

I have been responsible of considering Wordle phrases do not repeat letters. That is simply flawed — they do. Simply because the puzzle tells me there’s, for instance, an E within the final area, does not imply there cannot be one other E someplace. I used to get caught on the concept of not retrying letters as soon as they’d been recognized as being within the phrase. I strive to not suppose that means now.

3. Some phrases begin with vowels

That is most likely an enormous DUH for many of you, however I are inclined to get caught on the concept a phrase should begin with a consonant. That is an enormous error on my half — and ERROR would really be vowel-starting guess, particularly if I had an R already however did not know the place it was. I additionally generally fall into the entice of guessing “consonant, vowel,” when actually, many phrases begin with two consonants — BR, WH, that form of combo.

4. Do not forget Y

Keep in mind that previous vowel rule “generally Y.” Y can stand in as a vowel, so if you happen to’re pissed off as a result of AEIO and U aren’t exhibiting up, suppose Y. The phrase may very well be NYMPH or CRYPT or considered one of many different choices. Or possibly Y is not the one vowel however its location is throwing you off. I like BUMPY to get Y within the guess rotation, to verify if the phrase ends with it.

5. Take a look at out your guesses

Essentially the most useful factor for me, after having starter phrase or two, is to make the most of the grid itself. I prefer to sort potentialities into the Wordle grid utilizing an “X” the place I do not know the letter.  Perhaps I do know the phrase ends in “ER” and someplace in there’s a D. So I’d sort in DXXER after which attempt to determine it out from there. (DIVER?) If I do not see something, I retype with the D in a special spot. And I attempt to keep in mind there may very well be a couple of D, E or R.

I select an X as a result of I prefer to sort it proper into the Wordle grid, and X appears probably the most like a clean to me. Since these makes an attempt aren’t actually phrases, there isn’t any hazard of me by chance hitting enter and losing a guess by mistake.

6. Give your self time

My closing lesson from a yr of doing Wordle? Give your self time. This sport does not have a ticking clock. If I am up at midnight and I get three guesses in and am stumped, I flip off my gentle and sleep on it. Typically taking a contemporary have a look at it within the morning is all I must see the reply.

And if you happen to do not think about on-line assist dishonest, you’ll be able to strive a website like Crossword Solver, the place you inform it you are searching for a five-letter phrase, after which sort within the letters you do have. This solely actually helps if you already know what place no less than two letters are in, however if you happen to’ve acquired good starters, you usually will.

This is to a different yr of starter phrases and new methods. I am positive I will change every thing up in 2023.

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