Tigers’ tips for wordle


In 2021, Josh Wardle, a software engineer in Brooklyn, gave a gift to his girlfriend in the form of an online word-guessing game. Now, many months later, his gift called Wordle is enjoyed by millions of people everyday.

Wordle’s Origins

The online hit sensation, Wordle, made its public debut in October 2021, though Wardle originally created the game months earlier for his girlfriend, Palak Shah. In the depths of quarantine, the pair loved playing word-guessing games like the New York Times’ Spelling Bee and the daily crossword, which inspired Wardle to invent his own, titled as a play on his last name.

His creation is a simple once-a-day word-guessing game. Users have six tries to guess a secret five-letter word, which varies everyday. With each newly guessed word, the game offers a clue to what the word could be, identifying whether any of the letters are in the word (highlighted in yellow) or in the correct place (highlighted in green). The goal is to guess the word in as few tries as possible.

The New York Times reported that on Nov. 1, soon after its public launch, 90 people played the game of Wordle. Two months later, 300,000 people tapped into the puzzle to estimate the word. Now, two months into the new year, millions of people play Wordle daily.

Representing its momentous success, Wordle has recently changed hands from its original creator to The New York Times to join the collection of the Times’s various games. According to The Times, Wordle was acquired by the company from Wardle on Jan. 31, 2022 for a price “in the low seven figures.” Since then, The Times has run the Wordle operation.

Wordle at Independence

Independence is no stranger to the Wordle craze. According to a poll of 91 Independence students conducted on social media, 87% of students play Wordle daily. Moreover, it’s rare to enter a classroom without a discussion of what the day’s word was, discourse over the difficulty of the round, or boasting about how few guesses it took students to complete it.

Many Tigers are passionate about the once-a-day challenge, and take great pride in their Wordle skills. Below is a compilation of some students’ Wordle tips to help you solve the puzzle each day (though I’m sure they believe you can’t beat them).

Tigers’ Tips

Choose your first word wisely.

Your first guess for Wordle sets the pace for the rest of the round. A strategic first word can result in multiple letters being yellow or green, while a bad guess can be a complete waste. According to Tyler Glaiel, a programmer and game designer, the mathematically optimal first guess is “Roate,” a word which means, “the cumulative net earnings after taxes available to common shareholders, adjusted for tax-affected amortization of intangibles, for the calendar quarters in each calendar year in a specified period of time divided by average shareholder’s tangible common equity.” Some other popular words are “Adieu,” “Audio,” and “Stare.”

Tigers have their own preferences for Wordle openers.

Junior Charlie Gully stated, “I’ve gotten it in two every day that I’ve started with ‘Louis.’ Three vowels, two consonants, that’s a decent amount.”

I like to start with ‘beans,’” said senior Ella Crangle. “It has a couple vowels in it and I think it’s funny.”

Use a different starting word everyday.

On the other hand, some prefer to switch up their starting word each day. While a mathematical case can be made for certain starting words, another can be made for just guessing wildly. Author John Green said, “My Wordle strategy is to begin each puzzle with a word I have never previously used.” Of course, it still helps to include vowels in your varying first guesses.

“Start with a different word every day. You have to be unpredictable, just like Wordle is,” junior Max Black advised.

“I would start off with a different word every day. Try to get as many vowels in that word as possible,” said junior Megan Davies.

Focus on your vowels, then common consonants.

Some players prefer to take a multi-step approach to their beginning guesses, with one guess devoted to vowels, and the next highlighting habitual consonants. To this extent, The Times reminds users not to forget the process-of-elimination aspect of the game. Using a couple of very different words can help hit all the bases of common letters and narrow down the list of 26. 

“I always start with the three words ‘later,’ ‘noisy’ and ‘chump’ in order to obtain a few letters. That way, I always get it on the fourth guess,” junior Anthony Paganin revealed.

Be mindful of repeating letters.

A green highlight is not always the end for a letter. Letters can recur next to each other (like in the recent cases of “spill” and “swill”), at the start and end of a word  (recently, answers have been “aroma” and “cynic”),  or in any other spot (evidenced by “vivid” and “elder”). If no remaining letters seem to make sense, look to ones that have already been used.

Freshman Lily Allen warned, “Don’t forget that a letter can be used more than once.”

With the Wordle trend still going strong, use these Tigers’ tips to elevate your Wordle game.