What's today's daily word?
That's the phrase on everyone's lips - or should we say fingertips - as the smash hit game Wordle takes the internet by storm.
Even if you haven't played the game yet, you've likely seen the grids of yellow and green boxes on your friends' socials as they share their wins.
got my first wordle muahaha pic.twitter.com/Zc6aUVTdCs— cecil | rudyard funn apologist (@EYEOFNIGHTVALE) January 13, 2022
Don't worry - most images don't contain letters so there's no spoilers for those who haven't solved that day's puzzle yet.
But seriously, Wordle is everywhere:
The game is deceptively simple: guess the daily word - which is always five letters long - in only six tries.
It's fun and quick to play, and it's also addictive - but in a way that won't take over your life. There's only one word puzzle to solve each day, so you can play it once every 24 hours. Hardly an addiction really.
And you might learn a new word or two in the process! Or, you know, get inspiration for your crafting:
but what if i cross stitch every single one of my wordle results pic.twitter.com/g312E8WrCC— abcdefghijklmnopqrs_uvwxyz 🪡🏛 (@traceyfanclub) January 8, 2022
How do you play Wordle?
One reason the game is so popular is that it's easy to play - just go to the Wordle website and type in your answers. There's no app to download at the moment and no login required. And if you do see a Wordle app, it's likely to be fake, so don't download it!
The Wordle clones will all fail (after maybe extracting some money from misled players) because what people really enjoy isn’t just the game itself but everyone doing one small thing together every day— Alex Blechman (@AlexBlechman) January 13, 2022
To play, type in a random word and the empty boxes will hopefully turn different colours to give you clues. A box will turn green if you use the right letter in the right spot, and it will turn yellow if the letter is correct but in the wrong spot. A grey box means the letter is not used at all. Then it's a matter of elimination and strategic guesses: straight away you know to use those two coloured letters in your next guess.
Image: Wordle website
In fact, the hint system reminds us of this classic game, don't you think?
Once you've had your victory - or defeat - you simply wait for the new word to be released the next day. The game even gives you a handy timer so you can count down to when that will be. Set your alarm!
How to win at Wordle
It helps to have a good vocabulary, but given the daily word is only five letters long, you're not going to be looking for overly complicated words (we've heard Wordle uses everyday, common words). Still, the Free Dictionary says there are nearly 160,000 five-letter words in the English language, so that's a lot of potential words to sift through.
But don't get your big word brain in a knot! We've got you covered with five tips to help you reach victory on your daily Wordle mission.
Tip 1: The game uses American spellings
This is the most important tip for us Aussies. The biggest challenge for us will be remembering to use American spelling. This means removing the 'u' straight away from many words, such as color and valor. So some six letter words in your brain will instantly convert to five letters once Americanized. It also means you need to use a z instead of an s in some words.
forget Novak Deltavic for five minutes, Australia has woken up to an American spelling in the latest wordle and the entire country is currently folding in on itself.— marcus kelson (@marcuskelson) January 11, 2022
Tip 2. Your first guess should contain five unique letters
When you type in your first guess, you'll want to use as many different letters as possible to increase your hit rate and get those green and yellow hint boxes. Using a word with a double letter is just wasting precious tiles.
You can use this website to find five-letter words with no double-up letters, such as cabin or saute or maybe for that all-important first guess.
Tip 3. Use the most common letters in English language words
Start with words featuring the most commonly used consonants, which are h, n, r, s and t. And the most common vowels are a, e, i and o.
Also, it should help you to know that most words begin with t, a, o, d, and w. And most words end with e, s, d, and t.
Tip 4. Try not to reuse grey letters
Remember, the grey boxes show letters that aren't in the answer, so there's no point guessing words that contain too many of these letters (or any, if you can help it). It's wasting a guess.
Tip 5. Use online sites to find words
Even if your vocabulary is impressive, part of the challenge is remembering the words you know. WordFinder's list of 5-letter words is a great place to jog your memory and also discover new words.
There's also this Wordle solver tool that lets you put in the letters you have available so you can find relevant words. Some might consider this cheating though.
wordle: name a 5-letter word— jonny sun (@jonnysun) January 6, 2022
my brain: …TUNA
wordle: literally any 5-letter word
my brain: …QUENCH
wordle: LITERALLY JUST TYPE IN THE FIRST 5-LETTER WORD THAT COMES INTO YOUR HEAD
my brain: …LOPPO?
wordle: A WORD. A REAL WORD THAT IS 5 LETTERS LONG
my brain: … BBBBB
Bonus tip! Practice previous Wordle games
At the time of writing there's been more than 200 daily Wordles, and one person has created a Wordle archive so you can go back and play previous games for practice. It'll also let you discover old answers so you don't waste your guesses for future games. And if you're slightly addicted and want to play more than one game a day, this is a short-term workaround until you work your way through the back catalogue.
a few months from now there will be a tweet that says "wordle was the banana bread of omicron" and it will have 20k retweets— Carl Kinsella (@TVsCarlKinsella) January 10, 2022