Wordle Postgame Report CATCH-Up, February 22–27, 2023


Wordle Postgame Report CATCH-Up, February 22–27, 2023
Group of Beachgoers - Left to right: Mrs. Harvey Shaffer, Southhampton, New York, Mrs. Philip Corbin, New York, Mr. Kenneth Van RIPER, New York, Mr. Blaine Webb, New York, Mr. Albert H. Dewey Jr., Washington, DC, Mr. Maurice Fatio, Switzerland, Miss Marjorie Oelrichs, Newport, New York, Mr. Christopher Dunphy, New York, Mrs. Jack Rutherford, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on beach. Photo: Bettmann/Getty Images

The Wordle Postgame Report is a brief analysis of a game of Wordle, the five-letter-word guessing game now owned by the New York Times. If you do not play Wordle, Indignity encourages you to please skip this item. The existence of the Wordle Postgame Report does not constitute an endorsement of playing Wordle, of not playing Wordle, or of the New York Times.

February 22, RIPER, X/6

THE WRECK BEGAN with TRUCK: only a yellow R. EARLY got a yellow E, and the R stayed yellow. OWNER placed the E and R in green, in the most useless way. At least there was only one vowel left to try. I played DIVER and the game went into free fall. Blank-I-blank-E-R. Two rows left, and it could be FIXER, MISER, FIBER, RISER... Obviously it was time to bail out of voluntary Hard Mode, but even then, what could help? SMURF couldn't be a legal word. BOXES? FOXES? How could I test the annoying possibility of an initial R, while still fitting the other consonants into a word? The best I could come up with was BOSOM. Gray all across row five. It would be FIXER, or it would something I hadn't thought of. The F and X were gray. Wordle informed me the real solution was RIPER. A stupid comparative, not even a real word. In her interview earlier this month, the Wordle Editor had smirked about how there was a tough one coming at some point in February. Here it was, apparently, sending a quarter of the day's Wordle players off the bottom of the board, according to the WordleBot's tally of results. The time had come; the answer was mushy and rotten.

February 23, VAGUE, 4/6

STILL SPITEFUL TOWARD yesterday's lousy answer, I opened with BADLY and got a green A. HASTE got a green E to go with the A, and that seemed to open up a pair of chutes. The guessing game ahead wasn't quite as boring as it looked, though, because of that double-wide gap in the third and fourth slots. The supply of blendable consonants was already running low. CADGE was out. BARGE or LARGE would fill the space, but their initial letters were  gone. What if one of those spaces wasn't a consonant? I played CANOE and the pattern of green and gray repeated itself, heading down the grid, or up the creek. I thought about ditching voluntary Hard Mode again, even earlier—PURGE seemed like it should help clear the way—but that was residual resentment from yesterday clouding my thinking. That two-space gap was not going to keep its secrets for more than three rounds. I tried another vowel: VAGUE. Green on the V, and green the rest of the way. A clear and certain success.

February 24, ARBOR, 5/6

NO NOTE OF recognition came from CHIME, just an opening row of gray. RUSTY continued the slow start with a single yellow R. FRANK made it clear the game was not going to go well, turning the R green and adding only a yellow A. Finally BROAD delivered a wide swath of usable information, surrouding the R with a yellow B, yellow O, and yellow A. Planted in a new order—ARBOR—they made a solid patch of green.

February 25, FIFTY, 4/6

THE TRAIL WAS cold and gray after I started with HOUND. RAISE barely increaded the yield, with a single yellow I. The vowels were down to the I and possibly a Y; what would fit with those? FIFTY would, but the doubled F seemed risky with so many spaces still blank. More responsible to try more variety: FILMY. Green, green, gray, gray, green. FIFTY, after all. One more missed opportunity to regret in midlife.

February 26, SYRUP, 4/6

HOW LONG HAD it been since I ate any CAROB? The word got me a green R to start with. FIRST, going second, added a yellow S. I still hadn't played a E, so I tried SURGE: no to the E, but the S was green and the U was yellow. S-blank-R to start, wth the U presumably in the next spot. The first three letters could be SHR-, but the B in SHRUB was out, and what else was there? The C in SCRUM was also gone. If it wasn't a three-consonant combination, the only vowel left was Y—as in SYRUP. Slow getting there, but sweet.

February 27, 2023, WORSE, 4/6

CTRL-F TOLD ME I'd used the word "weird" a lot in these postgame reports, but never as a guess. Opening with WEIRD this time got me a green W and a yellow E and R. A good win had to be in reach. Didn't that R just want to be with the W? No, it didn't. WRECK kept the E and R yellow. The E would be at the end, then, and the W would pair up with something else. An H seemed good. WHERE was no good, because of the E, and surely Wordle was not asking for WHORE. Trying to pull out of that thought-spiral, I suddenly saw WHOSE and played it in a flash, forgetting the R entirely. The S and E were green, and the O was yellow. Move it over, bring back the R, and there was WORSE. Not one of my more successful Wordle sessions.

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