Vogt’s Notes: Who in the world doesn’t play Wordle?
Chances are there aren't many people in your circle who don't play this New York Times online puzzle every day.
Need I say more?
I intended to write a more serious column about our newspaper industry this week. Then I changed course and opted for something more light-hearted.
So indulge me and play along here.
Look around you. Chances are each and every person you see plays Wordle. Or most of them, anyway.
If you’re working alone from home, look at the list of coworkers you communicate with via an online program. If you live alone, think of all the contacts in your cell phone. I guarantee nearly everyone on these lists likely plays Wordle.
Haven’t heard of Wordle? Where in the world have you been?!
One Google search explains Wordle like this: “Wordle is an online brain teaser which lies somewhere between a crossword and a sudoku puzzle.”
I’d explain it as somewhat similar to my favorite television game show - “Wheel of Fortune.”
You’ll find this game online on the New York Times website. In a nutshell, you have six tries to guess a five-letter word.
- Letters that turn up in green boxes are correct and in the right place.
- Letters that turn up in yellow boxes are correct, but not in the right place.
- Letters that turn up in black boxes - sorry, they’re not in the puzzle.
And know that correct letters may be in the puzzle twice.
My online Wordle research taught me that Josh Wardle, a Welsh software engineer, created and developed the game, releasing it in October 2021. Since this year, the New York Times Company has owned and publishes Wordle.
I discovered Wordle after seeing more and more people post their Wordle results on Facebook. What was this 5x6 square filled with black, yellow and green boxes? I couldn’t figure it out.
I asked a coworker to share the link to the puzzle. I’ve been hooked ever since.
I play Wordle every day, usually in the morning after I’ve had some coffee and time to wake up. There’s a “share” button that makes it easy to send your Wordle results to others via Facebook, text, Twitter, etc.
We even have a “Wordle Club” through Forum Communications Co. where some of us who play share our results every day on a companywide communications channel.
My mom, sister and I share our results in a group text. One recent day, after we’d all solved the Wordle, I said to them: “This word raises my eyebrows. Was it planned with all that’s going on with Roe v. Wade?”
My sister responded: “Why? Shine. What’s the connection I’m missing?”
Shine? Their Wordle that day was “shine.” Mine was “fetus.”
Then people began sharing a New York Times story about that day’s Wordle that said, in part: “... Some users may see an outdated answer that seems closely connected to a major recent news event. This is entirely unintentional and a coincidence - today’s original answer was loaded into Wordle last year.
“... When we discovered last week that this particular word would be featured today, we switched it for as many solvers as possible.”
Apparently, I played a version of the game where the word hadn’t been switched.
Lesson learned. Now I refresh the website every day before launching into Wordle.
It’s fun. It’s (usually) quick. Your winning streak is tracked, along with how many times you solved the puzzle in one, two, three, four, five or six tries.
When you don’t get the word in six tries and your win streak ends, your day is somewhat wrecked.
But you soon forget and pick up where you left off with the next day’s Wordle.
I have never solved the puzzle on my first try, but I’ve gotten it in two guesses four times.
If you’re one of the few who haven’t yet played, give it a try. Just Google “Wordle” and start playing.
Nancy Vogt, editor, may be reached at 218-855-5877 or email@example.com. Follow her on Facebook and on Twitter at www.twitter.com/@PEJ_Nancy.