Wordle Postgame Report, June 14


Wordle Postgame Report, June 14
Yukako Fukushima, 33-year-old female prostheric maker shows a silicon-made eye at her shop in Osaka city, western Japan 11 November 2004. As people change clothes at the turn of the seasons, some people switch from tanned pinkies for summer use to paler winter versions. They are the customers of Yukako who makes silicon strap-on pinkies for forlorn gangsters who chopped off pinkies to ATONE for leaving their crime groups in a traditional rite. YOSHIKAZU TSUNO/AFP via Getty Images

June 14: ATONE, 2/6

The Wordle Postgame Report is a brief analysis of a past 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.

WORDLE PLAYERS DIVIDE into the people who play the same opener, or one of the same handful of openers, over and over again—belated congratulations to all of you who got that one-guess win on TRASH a while ago—and those of us for whom part of the appeal of the game is picking out a fresh, arbitrarily chosen starter word each day. The former strategy seems objectively more successful at winning Wordle. But if efficiency were the paramount goal, I would simply not play Wordle, and get those few minutes back each morning.

There's a line between "enjoyably perverse" and "self-sabotaging," though. When my verbal id came up with the idea of starting with BONER, my strategic superego balked at the wastefulness of the B, and my ego negotiated it down to TONER. And it went four-fifths yellow, hitting on T O N E.

I turned to scratch paper so as not to waste it. I juggled ENTO, OTEN, NEOT, ETNO, ETNO (again), and then almost played BENTO—see, BONER would have gotten the B!—before noticing the N couldn't be there. And then I realized I could just slide the whole thing over: ATONE. Just OK as a Wordle word—a little too high-flown semantically and a little too common, letterswise. Winning in two never felt so dumb before.