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, we encourage 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 21, AXIOM, 3/6
IT WASN’T MUCH of a start, but READY at least gave me one yellow A to begin moving around. I tried it in TALON, unsuccessfully, and got a green O. Only two spots were left for the A, then: at the end, in some sort of -OA word, or at the front. Forget the -OAs, if there even were any. A-something-something-O-something. What could that first pair of somethings be? ASHO-? ACKO-? No, the consonant combinations weren’t getting anywhere. What about an -IO- combination? A…X…IO…M? Really? Foundational principle: when you can’t think of any other words, you might as well play the one with the X in it.
November 22, PRIME, 5/6
I GREETED THE ever-present morning challenge by playing PESKY. Green P, yellow E—great start. The place to try the E was at the end, with a consonant joining the P to start bridging the gap. That theory was right; PRICE turned green everywhere but the C. Almost done, except…was it PRIDE or PRIZE? Quick win or a slower one? I played PRIDE. Not it. Also, I realized, it could be PRIME. Was it worth dropping out of voluntary Hard Mode to eliminate more options? No. PRIZE? No PRIZE. At last, five turns in, PRIME went green. I’d pumped enough wrong guesses into the grid to make the answer come out.
November 23, DRIVE, 4/6
I SLEPT IN to get ready for the holiday travel, and when I finally got to the Wordle board, I played FRANK. An F and a K seemed like they had the chance to go somewhere interesting, but they came up gray. All there was was a green R. How about TRUCE? Green R, green E. Progress of the most unilluminating sort. How about DROVE, in honor of the day’s obligations? Green, green, gray, green, green. Wrong tense. Not DROVE but DRIVE. An ongoing journey.
November 24, FEAST, 4/6
THE BACK, BENT from the long drive, got a PLANK to straighten it out. Green A. The pursuit of the answer was on, with CHASE. Green A, green S, yellow E. An EA combination, then. BEAST? Everything green but the B. Get outta here. This ain’t the fourth-grade thematic crossword. Take the holiday F and choke on it, Wordle.
November 25, ITCHY, 4/6
I MISSED THE chance to do the Wordle in the morning, because we had to get on the road. After dinner, I tried DELAY. Green Y, nothing else. POUTY? Yellow T, green Y. I moved the T back and forth in my mind and couldn’t settle it. Surely it was part of a consonant combination; the only vowel left on the shelf was an I. TH? ST? TR? How close to the Y could the I get before things got weird? Before long I’d stopped looking for a promising word and was trying to find any word that could accommodate the T, and I, and the Y. Discombobulated, I played TIZZY. Yellow T, yellow I, gray for the foolhardy Z’s. The game was getting more and more uncomfortable. It nagged at me. What if the I went to the front? ITCHY. The relief was belated.
November 26, CLEAN, 3/6
THE COPS WENT looking for someone to pin it on, a PATSY, but all they had for evidence was one yellow A. As far as the bulls were concerned, that was enough to try a FRAME job. Still, all they had to show the judge was a yellow A and a yellow E. See how it fit together? The judge dropped the gavel on them. The E went with the A, obviously what they should have been looking for was a consonant pair up front. The guy was CLEAN.
November 27, HAPPY, 4/6
THE WORD “INDEX,” passing by the eyes, stopped and stuck there until I could think of a different I word to get it out of the way: INTEL. It yielded zero positive information. For five new letters, I tried SHACK and got a yellow H and A. Here was some useful information: wherever the H went, it couldn’t have a T, S, or C for company. Up front then, accompanied by the A, for HARDY. Green, green, gray, gray, green. Put a pair of P’s in the blank spaces, and be pleased with the outcome.
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