Wordle explained: Everything you need to know

A December Wordle puzzle.

Power language

wordle is everywhere and totally unavoidable, especially if you spend time on Twitter. Seen poles featuring yellow, green and gray boxes? Yes, it’s Wordle. Even Jimmy Fallon plays Wordle! But… what is hell is Wordle? We’re glad you asked.

What is Wordle?

Wordle is an everyday word game that you can find online here. It’s fun, simple and, like a crossword, can only be played once a day. Every 24 hours there’s a new word of the day, and it’s up to you to find out. The site itself does a fantastic job of explaining the rules:


This game is so good.


Wordle gives players six chances to guess a randomly selected five-letter word. As shown above, if you have the correct letter in the correct place, it appears green. A correct letter in the wrong place appears in yellow. A letter that is not in the word in any the stain appears gray.

You can enter a total of six words, which means you can enter five hot words from which you can learn clues about the letters and their locations. Then you have a chance to use these tips. Or you can try the performance and guess the word of the day in three, two or even once.

Simple stuff, but also incredibly convincing.

So it’s just a pun? Big deal…

Yeah, it’s just a pun. But it’s super popular: more than 300,000 people play it daily, according to the New York Times. This popularity may seem disconcerting, but there are a few small details that have everyone going absolutely crazy about it.

There is only one puzzle per day: This creates a certain level of stakes. You only get one hit at the Wordle. If you get it wrong, you have to wait until tomorrow to get a whole new puzzle.

Everyone plays the exact same puzzle: This is crucial, as it makes it easier to ping your friend and discuss the riddle of the day. “Today was tough!” ” How did you do ? ” “Did you understand?” Which brings us to the next point…

It’s easy to share your results: Once you have passed or failed the puzzle of the day, you are invited to share your Wordle journey of the day. If you tweet the image, it looks like this…

Note that the word and letters you have chosen are hidden. All that is shown is your journey to the word in a series of yellow, green and gray boxes.

It’s very convincing. If you get it easily, maybe on the second or third try, there’s an element of jubilation in which you must show your followers how smart you are and share.

If you get it by the skin of your teeth the sixth time around, that’s a cool story too. But above all, the puzzle itself is not spoiled.

So Wordle isn’t just a word game, it’s a conversation starter and a chance to show off on social media. That’s why it’s going viral.

Tips and tricks

If you’re a pun purist, you might want to avoid the following tips and rely entirely on your own instincts. For anyone who is tired of seeing gray boxes, here are some tips you might find useful.

Choose your first word: The first word is arguably the most important. To maximize the value of your opening gambit, choose a word with three vowels and five different letters. A few examples: prayer, media, radio. I always use “farewell” for some reason. It’s a habit and I refuse to break it.

I just finished reading a fascinating article by Tyler Glaiel, a game programmer and designer who tried to find the best starting word possible. Apparently, we should all start Wordle with the word “roate”. Honestly, read this entire article, it’s awesome.

Avoid reusing Gray : There is a keyboard at the bottom of the Wordle board that shows which letters are green, yellow, and gray. Avoid reusing letters that have turned gray. Yes, that seems obvious. But it can take time and effort to think of five-letter words that don’t use letters you’ve tried before. This effort will pay off.

The letters can appear twice: This complicates things, especially when you run out of letters to try word four or five. But the letters come up often, as with words like chill, sissy, and ferry having been the correct answers in the past.

Who created Wordle?

Wordle is the work of software engineer Josh Wardle, who originally created the game for his partner, a fan of word games, and tells the BBC it will never be loaded with ads. Extremely online people might remember Wardle as the creator of Place, a completely wild collaborative art project/social experiment that sent the internet into a frenzy in April 2017.

Place was a shared online space that literally allowed anyone to fight for what was drawn there. This has resulted in huge sprawling communities fighting for space on this gigantic online canvas.

In the end it ended up looking like this:

Image from the Place online space

Do you remember Place? It was a crazy time.


Wordle was featured in The New York Times in November, but really took off when the sharing element was added.

In a post on Reddit, Wardle said he wanted Wordle to look like a croissant, a “tasty snack” enjoyed every once in a while. This is explicitly why there is only one puzzle per day. “Appreciated too often,” he explained, “and they lose their charm,” says Wardle.


Beware of Wordle clones

Following the success of Wordle, app stores have been flooded with Wordle clones, so beware. Apple removes Wordle clones from the App Store, but who knows, others might appear.

Of course, the rules behind Wordle are hardly revolutionary or original (anyone remember the board game Mastermind?), but if you want to play and discuss the same game as everyone else, you need to be on the game browser-based. There is no app. The Wordle you want to play can be found here on the Power Language site. Anything using the name “Wordle” is most likely a scam. There are even apps that try to charge money to play. One even charges a $30 subscription fee.

Stay away.

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