Some Wordle games are so difficult that they stay with you long after you complete them. Well, today’s game is one of them this – and it was almost enough for me.
This was a far cry from my first personal nightmare on Wordle. RUPEE, back in March 2022, was one I royally screwed up and only got away with a last gasp 6/6. HOMER gave me similar problems a few months later.
The worst part for me was GAMER – a puzzle that tormented me for more than an hour. In the end I was given a choice of two words, GAMER or GAZER, and my heart pounded and I guessed right.
On the way I sailed through CAULK, SWILL, TACIT, WATCH, FEWER and EGRET with 3s, 4s or the occasional 5s – but without real danger. My streak extended to its current value of 415 and I began to wonder if I could solve Wordle’s remaining 2,309 puzzles without errors. That hope almost ended today.
If you haven’t played Game #613 yet, then walk away and do so before returning to read the rest – because obviously THERE WILL BE SPOILERS. You might also want to have a few Wordle pointers along the way.
All done? Good. Then we can continue.
Wordle #613: A Puzzle from Hell
The best measure of the difficulty of a Wordle puzzle I have comes from WordleBot, the New York Times’ clever AI tool that analyzes each match.
WordleBot not only suggests the best Wordle seed words and explains where you made mistakes (in a rather condescending way), but also gives an average score for the game for a sample of all players who played it.
Today’s game has an average score of 5.4. yes, one Average Grade 5.4. That’s the second highest I’ve ever seen, behind only PARER (6.3, game #454) and tied with FOYER (game #304).
For context, most wordles are in the 3.5 to 4.5 range. This makes sense: many people get 3s, 4s, or 5s in most games, some outliers get 2s, 6s, or misses. But an average of 5.4 implies that many, many people have failed.
In fact, I have a good idea of how many people lost their streaks today because another thing WordleBot reports is how many people solved each guess.
In today’s game, around 7% didn’t guess it on the last move. With a sample size of almost 400,000 people, we know that at least 32,000 people lost their stripes. I can almost feel the collective frustration.
A look at Twitter adds further evidence, with “Wordle 613 X” trending around the world and many people lamenting their happiness on the social media platform:
The end of an era. My very first defeat. 412-day streak broken. Wordle 613 X/6⬛🟨⬛⬛🟨⬛🟩⬛⬛⬛⬛⬛⬛⬛⬛⬛⬛⬛⬛🟨⬛🟩🟩🟩🟩⬛🟩🟩🟩🟩 pic.twitter.com.0Zh6.com/0Zh6 comFebruary 22, 2023
Wordle 613 X/6⬛🟨⬛⬛🟨⬛🟩⬛🟩🟩⬛🟩⬛🟩🟩⬛🟩⬛🟩🟩⬛🟩⬛🟩🟩⬛🟩⬛🟩🟩all I can say is don’t try the 5February 21, 2023
That’s bad luck now. When strategy and luck collide, Wordle 613 X/6⬜🟨🟨⬜⬜🟩🟩⬜⬜⬜🟩🟩⬜🟩🟩🟩🟩⬜🟩🟩🟩🟩⬜🟩🟩🟩🟩⬜🟩🟩February 21, 2023
Why is Wordle #613 so difficult?
The answer to today’s wordle is RIPER, and even an amateur wordler can see why that might be difficult.
The repeated R is an immediate problem simply because all the repeated letters are hard to find. But the real problem is the fact that it ends in —ER and is therefore one of Wordle’s famous Too Many Answers puzzles.
We’ve had plenty of these, of course — and many have caused similar headaches. FOYER and PARER are two obvious examples, but FEWER (average score: 4.9), HOMER (4.7) and RUDER (4.6) were not far behind in difficulty.
The bad news is that there are 141 of these answers in Wordle’s 2,309 games, and we’ve only had 31 of them so far – so expect many more in the coming months and years.
It’s actually pretty easy to spot an —ER wordle because many of the best initial words contain both of these letters. Once they turn yellow (or green) you have a good idea of how the game will play out.
But that doesn’t make it any easier to solve – as my own game shows.
Even though I played three “throw away” words that I knew couldn’t be the answer, I still came home with only the last guess – there were just too many possible solutions along the way. In fact, WordleBot told me I had 181 on my first guess and 44 on my second. Even after my fourth tip, I still had four to choose from.
It would have been even worse if you were playing in hard mode, where subsequent guesses would already require you to include green or yellow letters. That must have been almost impossible today.
So what could I have done differently? Well, WordleBot assumes that RIDER would have been a better second guess than LONER, which is a bit surprising. After all, guessing a repeated letter that early seems counterintuitive.
On the other hand, many ER words have a second R in either the first or third position, so excluding (or inserting) that as soon as possible would have helped here. Furthermore, I should have simply been smarter with my subsequent guesses. For example, if I guessed DEVIL, a letter would have been wasted because I had already used the L. I knew that at the time, but I didn’t see any other way to put in four other good letters. According to WordleBot, CUPID would have done a better job.
Clearly, the key to an ER word is to plan ahead. You know what trap you’re in for, so you need to think two or three moves ahead, not just one. Easier said than done, of course.
Still, I made it through in the end and kept my streak alive for at least another day. We hope that tomorrow will be a little easier.
This article was previously published on Source link