Wordle Postgame Report, weekend CATCH up, December 9–11


Wordle Postgame Report, weekend CATCH up, December 9–11
Cushion cover, 1590-1610, British, Linen worked with silk and metal thread, spangles; stem, back, plaited BRAID, knots, and detached buttonhole stitches, H. 8 7/8 x W. 13 3/8 inches (22.5 x 34 cm), Textiles-Embroidered, This small panel was probably intended to decorate a small cushion or pillow; these were used in large numbers in interior decoration of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. Larger versions would have softened hard wooden seats; smaller examples were used as decoration on sideboards and dressing tables. (Photo by: Sepia Times/Universal Images Group via 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, not playing Wordle, or of the New York Times.

December 9, BRAID, 4/6

OUT OF RESPECT for the labor negotiations, I was about to play UNITE when I checked and saw it was the Wordle answer almost exactly a month ago, on November 10. Then I was going to play the name of prominent scab Peter BAKER, the spectacularly shallow lead White House reporter whose declared commitment to neutrality on matters of public controversy didn't stop him from siding with management against his colleagues—but BAKER was the answer on November 16. What other prophecies and warnings about this labor impasse are hidden in the trail of Wordle solutions? Is management going to AVERT a full-on strike (November 19) and make everyone HAPPY (November 27)? Or are they going to stick with a TEPID offer (November 28) and see Guild members EJECT themselves from the newsroom (December 1)? Optimistically, I opened the game with RAISE and got yellow on R, A, and I. Back to the negotiating table, with CHAIR. Green A and I, yellow R—two terms locked in, and a map to the third. How much more time would this DRAIN? Yellow D, green R-A-I. BRAID. Individual strands organized into something stronger.

December 10, KNOCK, 5/6

NO FUN OR interest to be had here at all. WREAK planted a green K; FLOCK expanded that to a green -OCK. And there it stalled. STOCK didn't work, but it did eliminate a lot of consonant combinations. With the selection of two-letter groups already so thin, was one of those green letters recycled at the beginning of the word? It couldn't be CLOCK. CHOCK was a cruddy word, but what else was there? QUOCK? I played CHOCK. Nope. What was left? Oh, the K. KNOCK. I felt like disparaging the game and how I'd played it.

December 11, NAIVE, 5/6

THERE ARE WORSE ways to fail than by falling off the bottom of the board. I stared with CREAM, and got a yellow E and A. Time to move them over. TEACH wouldn't work; the C was gone. I tried it with BEAST instead: still yellow. What now, keep them together and slide them again, with EAGLE? It felt too early to double up when all I had was two common vowels. ANGLE: yellow A, yellow N, green E. And then—stuck. Absolutely stuck. By elimination, the A had to go in the second spot. The word was _ A _ _ E. But there were three slots where the N could go, and two other letters to come up with, and no words came to mind. DANCE? Again, no C. CANOE? No C. KANYE? DANKE? I couldn't find my scratch pad, so I got a stray scrap of paper instead and started trying write the possibilities, hoping a familiar word-shape would emerge. Nothing. What if I played DANCE anyway, knowing it was wrong, just for the sake of getting closer to placing the N? What if I played NINNY, to put the N down for sure? DANCE...DANKE...I tried DANKE and Wordle rejected it as ineligible. Apologies to Wayne Newton. To hell with it, DANCE. Green A, yellow N, worthless C. Green E, of course. I was out of time. I closed the computer, took a shower, went out to a recital, came home, ate lunch. Opened the computer again. It was either N A _ _ E or _ A _ N E. I dug deeper into to the piles of papers on my desk and came up with the real scratch pad—no, it was the remains of the used-up pad before that. I dug deeper still and found it, and set up two columns. Sixteen non-words later (-AFNE...-AXNE..NAY-E...) I wrote NAI and finally saw it. Pathetic. It was as if I'd never played the game before.

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