Monday, August 22, 2022


I got Wordle in three today.

That’s a little better than my average. I usually get it in four. Sometimes more. Sometimes less. I’ve only ever missed it twice – both times because I had n guesses left and the final letter could have been any of n+2 options.

I don’t suppose there are many people reading this who aren’t familiar with Wordle. For those that aren’t, it’s a guessing game. You get a five-letter word and you’ve got six guesses to figure it out. If you get a letter correct but in the wrong place, it gets colored yellow. If you get it in the right place it gets colored green. It’s very much like the old game Mastermind, which I used to play a lot when I was younger. You get one shot at it per day, and then it lets you get on with your life. You have to like that.

It was one of the things that came out of the pandemic, I suppose.

Some people want more challenge or more game play so other versions have sprung up. There was one where you were given the outline of a country and had to guess what it was and I played that off and on for a time. There are specific versions for specific interests, where the words all have a theme to them. There are straight-up copycats that let you play many games per day if that’s your thing. Kim and Oliver have landed on a version called Squardle, which has six different words and an intricate color-coded scheme of hints that escapes me entirely. I play Quordle, which has four words and you get nine guesses, but each guess counts for all four words at once.

But mostly it’s Wordle.

I’ve never posted my score that I recall. I don’t mind that people do – if my social media feeds are going to be taken over by something, this is harmless and vaguely charming – but that’s not why I play it.

One of the things we started doing back when Wordle was fresh and both Oliver and Lauren were in the middle of college semesters was posting our scores to a group text, just the four of us.

It’s a nice way to keep in touch, to share an experience with those you love. We could celebrate our successes and commiserate our losses, but most importantly we could do it together even if we were far apart.

We still keep this up after all those months, though more sporadically than perhaps we did before.

But I always enjoy seeing their scores pop up on my phone, a sign that we have shared something that day and are together at least that much before things spiral away as they always do.

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