The Wordle Postgame Report is a brief analysis of a game of Wordle, the five-letter-word guessing game now owned by the New York Times. If you do not play Wordle, Indignity encourages you to please skip this item. The existence of the Wordle Postgame Report does not constitute an endorsement of playing Wordle, not playing Wordle, or of the New York Times.
November 14, MAPLE, 4/6
THE FRONT, WHERE the P was, turned yellow for PORCH but nothing else did. SWAMP was saturated with muddy information, yellow on the A, M, and P. Where in the middle did the P go now? AMPLE filled the row with color: two yellow, then three green. The way to change the color was MAPLE. I felt like a sap for needing the extra turn.
November 15, SNARL, 4/6
MAYBE I WAS looking at a graph of something, or thinking about a graph of something; somehow, CHART came up as the opener, and the AR turned green. Time for a basic guessing game: SPARK? The S was green, and the guesses got narrower. Surely it couldn’t be SMARM, could it? It wasn’t worth burning a turn on. I tried SWARM instead, but the two gray spaces stayed gray. There was no way this one could flow off the bottom, not with that S looking for a consonant partner in a dwindling field—but what if the A was looking for a vowel? No, nothing seemed worth pursuing that way, yet. If I blew it on the fourth guess, I’d have to systematically work through the options on round five, but for now I just played SNARL. The gray went green. No need to untangle the other possibilities.
November 16, BAKER, 3/6
THE RADAR HAD said the rain moved on, but the drizzle soaked through my shoes on the way to the school dropoff. I played BLEAK to open, and hit what looked like the jackpot: green B, yellow E, A, and K. I could bring the game to a halt in two rounds with BRAKE. Unless—what if it was BAKER? BAKER was a great word, very Richard Scarry. But I would feel like an idiot if I’d thought of BRAKE first and not played it, only for it to be the answer. I played BRAKE. Green, yellow, yellow, yellow, yellow. Back in the oven for one more round.
November 17, THERE, 4/6
GRAVY SEASON IS at hand, and starting with STOCK got a yellow T. Add some new consonants and vowels, nice common ones, for TREAD. Green T, yellow R, green E—the front of the word had to be THE-, but where did the R go? One spot from the end, for THERE, or all the way at the end, for THEIR? THEIR seemed more perverse; had Wordle ever landed on a possessive pronoun before? I couldn’t resist trying it. Nope. Gray I, yellow R. Not in that place, but in the other place.
November 18, GLYPH, 2/6
IF YESTERDAY’S STARTER was STOCK, today could be nothing but GRAVY. Green G and…a yellow Y? With the Y going somewhere in the middle of the word, that eliminated just about everything. The single symbol conveyed all the information it possibly could: GLYPH.
November 19, AVERT, 4/6
THE OPENING CHOICE of BLAST seemed at first to have shaken loose some good information: a yellow A and a green T. But I couldn’t keep all the possibilities properly sorted out: was this a symmetrical, two syllable word, with A in the second spot? Or the fourth spot? Or did it begin with A? Or was it somehow a single syllable? None of these abstract ideas about word-form managed to conjure a word; it seemed desperately important to place the A. First I fixed on AWAIT, but that would have repeated the middle A. What about CARAT? Inserted thought: wouldn’t CARET be a better guess? Wasn’t a repeating letter wasteful? Weren’t both choices fairly terrible words, though, and wasn’t I reduced to guessing things like that because I didn’t have a fix on the A? CARAT, then. The first A was yellow, the second was gray, and between them was a yellow R. So the A had to go to the front, but now the R took over the job of being a floating annoyance. I wasn’t even trying to guess a good answer, just to pin down a pieces of information that could get me in position to guess: ARGOT. Yellow R. A-something-something-R-T. AVERT. The oncoming sense of failure turned aside.
November 20, BRAVE, 5/6
THE BAD KIND of green showed up at once, with BRASH turning over a green B, R, and A, and raising the false hope of an easy finish. Maybe the almost-visible answer was BRAND, maybe it was BRAKE. I went back and forth, overthinking it, till I played BRAIN instead. Not BRAIN. BRAND was too depressing a word, so BRAKE. Not BRAKE, but the E turned green too. A real chute was forming. Would BRACE work? No, the crash was still coming. Two rows to go. I calmed down. I was going to beat this grid. After BRAKE failed and BRACE couldn’t hold, what could there be but BRAVE?
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