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.
January 9, 2023, PIXIE, 4/6
OPENING THE GAME with TRIAL was more useful for what it eliminated than for what it kept. The positive result was a yellow I; the negative result was that the words I could think of with I’s in them kept also having T’s. I thought of AUDIT, a great vowel-testing word. No good. PICKY would work, and it got me two green letters in the front, which sent me back to useless T words: PIVOT…PINOT… Something was missing, or I was missing something. PIOUS would fit, but the last three squares stayed gray. The vowels were nearly depleted and the consonants just wouldn’t fit. Time to consider a different approach: a repeating vowel, and a consonant from the rarities. PIXIE. The grid ceased to resist.
January 10, 2023, GRIMY, 3/6
NOT EVERY WORD that pops into mind is especially interesting, but CLINK was there and it seemed good enough. It came up with a green I, symmetrically flanked by gray. SPITE repeated the pattern. Were there consonant pairs on both sides of the I or not? The first two rounds had thinned out the selection of blend-friendly letters: H was still on the board, but without a T, C, or S to join it; G was around but it couldn’t make an -ING. FRIAR would fit but with so much gray on the board, I didn’t like doubling up a letter yet. GRIMY would work—and surprised me by coming up all green, drawing a simple inverted T on the grid. Not the cleanest job of finding the answer, but it worked.
January 11, 2023, SEDAN, 3/6
THE FEEL OF the morning was weary and off; I opened with CURSE. Yellow S, yellow E. SHEAF moved those around and the S turned green, joined by a green A, while the E stayed yellow. That left only one space the E could go to: S-E-blank-A-blank. Wordle would never make SEPAL an answer, so what else could fit? SEW-, SET-, SEG-…SEDAN. Practical and efficient.
January 12, 2023, LEAPT, 3/6
I HAD A lot to work with after playing SALTY: yellow A, L, and T lined up in the middle of the row. Time to find new homes for them. The center seemed like the logical next stop for the A, but PLATE wouldn’t work because the T was still there. LEAPT would work but it would be a dumb and bad answer, not just a verb tense but a British and/or antique one. LEAST wouldn’t work because of the S. What if, instead of PLATE, it was PLANT? A sound, commonsensical noun, for a normal Wordle answer. The A and T turned green; the P and L were yellow. That left…LEAPT. The green letters jumped up and down in their dance of stupid victory.
January 13, 2023, HUMAN, 4/6
RELOADING THE WORDLE tab to start the day brought up a string of white boxes reading E R R O R. I tried again in a little while and the regular grid came back. It took me four or five attempts to think of a word that I’d never started with, and that Wordle had never ended with, before I finally landed ion TIPSY and was rewarded with a row of pure gray. WREAK found a green A and nothing else. With nine letters in the trash already, I should have been getting somewhere, but I wasn’t. I thought about CANAL but couldn’t bring myself to repeat a letter with so much gray on the board. FOCAL had more possibilities; even so, all it yielded was the green A again. Thirteen letters gone, including every vowel but U and a repeat A, and where was I? What would the A go with to end the word: -AM? Or -AG? Or -AD? Then I thought of -AN and the rest of the word filled itself in. There still was an H, there still was the U, and the M…HUMAN. Fallable and mortal, but not dead yet.
January 14, 2023, KOALA, 3/6
I GOT AN irritatingly uninformative-looking start from playing CHAFE, with a centered green A. As usual with a lone vowel in the middle, I couldn’t even tell how many syllables I was aiming for. I guessed one, and tried SPARK. The K was…yellow. Here was something potentially illuminating. Now the K had to go somewhere sort of weird, and without a C, R, or S for company. Was it next to the end, as some word ending in -AKY? It certainly couldn’t be SHAKY. Or was it in one of the other two spots, making K _ A _ _ or _ K A _ _? If something was between the K and the A, what would it be? The missing E ruled out KNAVE. An O, though: KOALA. I didn’t mind trying the repeated letter; what else could it be? Green all across. Cute little answer, just exotic enough to be appealing.
January 15, 2023, SPIRE, 4/6
STARTING OFF BY playing a U, in PUNCH, was a big swing and turned out to be mostly a miss. Only the P was yellow. I moved toward more common letters with STAMP and got a green S, with the P still yellow. Even more common letters: SPARE. Green everywhere but the A. SPIRE. An upside-down tapering point of gray pointed to the solution.
The Wordle Postgame Report will be posted semi-regularly. If you enjoy reading the Wordle Postgame Report, please contribute to Popula to support this and other things. Thank you for reading!
Thank you for reading POPULA! Add your email here to receive our newsletter!