Maybe my Wordle results aren’t unusual.
Maybe it’s not intuition but just a quirky system.
I just know that – in the last few months – I seem to “get” the word faster than some people, and – according to them – my system is odd.
That is, the words that I guess aren’t what I’d try if I were solving Wordle logically. (More about that in a minute.)
Some are words I’ve never used in my entire life. I guess them anyway.
Also, it’s not how fast I get the word, but how little I’m often working with, when the word seems to pop into my head.
Here’s my Wordle system, starting with the one I used for months, but it didn’t work well.
The Logical Wordle Approach
1) How Most(?) People Solve Wordle (This works, but – for me – it’s tedious.)
1. I start with the word OPERA. That gives me three vowels and two common letters.
2. If I no letters are in the day’s word, I try UNITY. That includes Y and two more vowels, as well as two more common letters.
3. Once I have some letters, I always try to guess words that include all of them. (This is a logical step, and one that’s rarely helpful.)
4. When I do this repeatedly, through process of elimination, I usually guess the word around the fifth or sixth line.
The Wordle Shortcut
2) My Intuitive Wordle Approach (The one that works faster.)
1. I start with the same word, OPERA. If it doesn’t give me much to work with, there’s an 80% chance I’ll try UNITY next, just in case it helps.
2. I enter in all the letters that are correct.
I try not to get too logical-minded with this. (That’s important.)
Of course, I place the green letters (or likely guesses) where they belong. Then I enter the mustard-colored letters where “it feels right.” (As I do this, I may move them, on a whim.)
If I don’t know where any correct letters belong (green letters), I may carefully decide, logically, where the other correct letters (mustard letters) are likely to be.
That is, an E might be at the end of the word. Ditto a Y or a T, an ND combination, a TH or RD combination, and so on.
3. In all the other spaces, I enter an X.
4. Then, I sit back and wait for a word to pop into my head. It’s kind of a meditative state, I guess. I try not to think logically. I try to keep my mind blank, and I just gaze at the word with the Xs in it.
5. When a word feels right, even if it’s a ridiculous word I’d never use in real life, I enter it.
Often, that’s the right word.
If it isn’t, it’s very close and—even a I type “Enter” in Wordle—I usually realize what the word really is. (And mutter, “Duhhh!” to myself. lol )
The Logic Obstacle
The very worst thing I can do is try to figure the word, logically, using process of elimination.
If I go down that path, even a little, it’s hard to get back to the state of mind where the word will just pop into my mind.
My current streak is 187 games. (One day, I forgot to play.)
I’ve played a total of 249 times with 99% success.
I’ve solved Wordle in four guesses or less 154 times, including six times I solved it on the second line.
(And then there was the day that “OPERA” was the word. I’m not sure that counts.)
Okay, the percentages may not dazzle you, since they include many months when my approach was 100% logical.
My numbers would look far better if I’d stumbled onto this intuitive approach sooner.
I wish I had.
But, as someone who alphabetizes the spices in her kitchen cabinet, it’s been really difficult for me to let go of logic when I’m solving a puzzle.
My Daily Wordle Routine
I solve Wordle best if I work on it as soon as I wake up, before logic has a chance to intrude.
If I don’t feel “in the zone” at the third line, I put Wordle aside until later in the day. Then, I solve it after watching some really mindless TV.
As of February 2023, that’s “Love Island (UK)” on Hulu. (It’s the only show in the Love Island franchise that I watch. The others were “meh” for me.)
I think that show shuts down my brain’s logic circuits or something. (And besides, it’s fun to watch that with my husband. We joke back & forth about the various individuals and couples, talking to the TV screen and laughing.)
Each time (rare) that I don’t solve the puzzle on the fourth line or sooner, I’m irked with myself for letting logic get in the way.
Thankfully, I glommed onto this intuitive system a few months ago. Otherwise, I’m not sure I’d still be playing Wordle. (I have enough dilemmas in my life that I’m trying to solve logically. I don’t need another one as recreation.)
… And then there’s Spelling Bee
Lately, I’ve been playing the NY Times’ game, Spelling Bee, too.
At first, I just played it logically, the same way I’d started out with Wordle.
After about 10 or 15 words, the game was over, since I’m not a subscriber.
However, in the past week, I’ve been applying the same Wordle-style meditative approach to Spelling Bee.
Twice, on the first try, I guessed the winning word (yes, there is only one) that used all the letters.
Once, I tried three short words first, and then paused to see if the winning word showed up in my thoughts.
The other four times, I just entered short and medium-length words, and the winning word never occurred to me.
I have no idea if that means anything.
Am I unusual?
I have no idea if what I’m doing is unusual in Wordle, either.
I posted this because a few friends have asked how I’m consistently solving Wordle faster than they do.
Also, my husband has learned not to compare his Wordle results with mine. I’m more successful 99% of the time. (That’s weird. His education and vocabulary are more impressive than mine, and his IQ is probably higher, too.)
So, if you’re getting results like mine with Wordle, I’d love to know about it.
And if you have a better system, let me know that in comments, too.
(I moderate all comments, so yours will probably be visible on the site in 24 hours or less.)