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 23, 2023, ELUDE, 5/6
NOTHING BUT SILENCE came up from an opening move with BATON. WHELP delivered a yellow E and L. DEVIL kept me ignorant of their true positions, keeping them yellow and adding a yellow D—that last detail was somehow lost on me as I thought about MULED and instead played FLUME, giving myself a rougher ride than necessary. Still, the misplay gave me a green L, green E, and a new green U. ELUDE. I’d messed up, but the answer didn’t get away from me.
January 24, 2023, COUNT, 3/6
WITH THE SPRING semester underway, I tried TEACH and learned a lot: it delivered a yellow T and yellow C, while eliminating any TH or CH possibilities, as well as any -CK endings. And it knocked out two common vowels. With all that in hand, I tried the C at the front and the T at the end, with CLOUT. They came up green, and the -OU- came up yellow, for COU-blank-T. COUNT or COURT? I played the N: one, two, three, four, five green boxes.
January 25, 2023, MAIZE, 3/6
WITH A SORT of protective jinx in mind, or just the inability to think of anything else, I opened with STUMP, and got a yellow M. To compensate for playing the U so early, I tried a batch of more common vowels with MAYBE. The M, A, and E were all green—the two gray spaces looked like a chute, but there didn’t seem to be that many letter combinations to shovel into it. MAIZE would work if the answer took another vowel, or otherwise what? MACHE would be an awful answer. MANGE would fit. Did I want to think about MANGE this early in the game, this early in the morning? The game was in good shape; I could risk a Z this early. I played MAIZE, and it sprouted up all green. Sort of an embarrassing puzzle-word, but it was right.
January 26, 2023, BEEFY, 4/6
THE PASTORAL IMAGE of a GLADE got only a yellow E. Should I put it in the boring and obvious middle, or play it at the beginning in the hopes of finding something interesting? I went with the former, with STERN, and the E turned green. There weren’t all that many consonant pairs left to fill up the double spaces before or after it; it felt like this one called for a second vowel. And EE seemed at least likely as any EI or IE combination—especially without another E at the end—and much more likely than an EO or OE. But would that EE be shifted forward or rearward? I could make CHEEP, or I could make BEEFY. Both were funny, but I’d thought of CHEEP first, but BEEFY was funnier. I played CHEEP. Three grays, and the second E in yellow. BEEFY still fit, and obviously I wasn’t going to try to think of something else. All green. Solid, meaty answer.
January 27, 2023, WORRY, 3/6
WHAT LIVELIER WAY to start off than with PERKY? It got a green R and a green Y. Maybe it was building a pair of chutes, but it didn’t seem like it. I felt confident enough in the start to play a double R in the next round, with SORRY. Or could it be WORRY? Going from PERKY to SORRY would be funnier, so I did it. Four green squares, gray in front. It was the W after all. Nothing to be concerned about.
January 28, 2023, FLIRT, 4/6
IN ALL THIS time, I’d never played GLOBE before. It turned up a green L. I tried making it part of a consonant pair in FLASK, and the F came up green too. FL-what? A, E, and O were all gone. FLINT? A green I and T chipped away even more of the gray. Not an N, but an R. Encouraging all the way, and only slightly hard to get.
January 29, 2023, FISHY, 3/6
LOOKING MORE FOR a useful assortment letters than for the inherent entertainment value of the guess-word, I started with TORUS. All that tactical-mindedness got me was a not-very-helpful-looking yellow S. I moved it to the front and stuck with shape-related words, with SPIKE. The S stayed yellow, and the I came up yellow, too. Still not that much to work with, but the S needed to move toward the middle and the I needed to move away. It seemed like there must have been lots of words that would fit that pattern; the first one that came to mind was FISHY. I played it, and it went green all the way across. A suspiciously easy win.
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