Since Wordle took the world by storm at the end of 2021, it has brought hours of challenging fun and changed many daily routines. I, for example, don’t get out of bed until I’ve completed my daily quota of word games – and I say “games” because there have been a bunch of Wordle spinoffs that are both entertaining and confounding.
The original Wordle was created by Welshman Josh Wardle to help him and his wife pass the time during lockdown. He subsequently sold it to the New York Times for an undisclosed seven-figure sum, and the NYT promised to keep the game on the free side of its paywall.
The original game involves figuring out a five-letter mystery word in six tries. After each guess the letters change colour, indicating whether or not the particular letter appears in the word, and if it’s in the right place – a bit like the white and black pegs in Mastermind.
Not long after I started playing Wordle, I discovered WordHurdle, which is exactly the same as Wordle, but with the choice of four, five or six letters per word. Interestingly, the six-letter version is actually easier than the original as you work your way through the letters more quickly.
Then I discovered Quordle, which is four boards of five letters each. In this version of the game, you get nine goes to figure out all four words. Your guesses are replicated across the boards as you go, eliminating more and more letters along the way.
Tricky as they may seem, Wordle, Word Hurdle and Quordle pale against the great-granddaddy of all the -ordles: Octordle. As the name suggests, this game takes place on eight boards. You get 13 attempts to figure out all eight words. This might sound like a lot, but once you get going you start running out of board very quickly!
I recently learnt of the existence of Dordle, which is two boards per game. Hardly a challenge by now!
Daily or practice
Each of the versions, except the original Wordle, has the “daily” or the “practice”/”free” option. The daily word/s change every day, giving you one chance in 24 hours. The practice option allows you to play as often as you like, but the results of these games don’t count towards your stats.
Where to start?
There are various strategies you can use when starting. I like to test for vowels, so I use ADIEU as my first word. That generally gives enough clues to get the word in three or four goes. Some folk test for consonants first, while others use a different word to start each time.
Share your results
Each of the games gives you the option of sharing your results in emoji form, showing just the colours of the letters and not the letters themselves. You can share on any of your social media platforms, including WhatsApp.
Whatever your strategy, the Wordle suite of brainteasers is a great way to get the thinking juices flowing. Give them a go – and be prepared to wake up a little earlier every day to get them done.