I used to think there was no better starting word Wordle. I was wrong and the new Wordle Bot just proved it to me.
While we’ve all been busy wasting a few minutes each day playing Wordle, the game that asks you to guess a five-letter word in six tries, The New York Times has quietly launched a Wordle Bot to help you in your quest to become a world-class Wordler.
During my first test, I learned that, yes, there are some Wordle first guesses that are much better than others. I mean much better.
Before continuing, however, I will warn you that there are spoilers ahead for today’s Wordle #298 answer.
As The New York Times explained, he built the bot with the express purpose of finding the best seed words for Wordle, but that quest quickly evolved into understanding “how well our guesses matched those that would be chosen by a machine designed to solve Wordles.”
As a longtime Wordle player and someone who used to write quite a bit of our daily Wordle guides and Wordle guides (like how to win Wordle daily), I think I already know a thing or two about the right words to departure. One of my favorites is “FRAME”.
However, for this Wordle quest, I put myself in the hands of the Wordle Bot. Kind of.
To use Worlde Bot, it turns out that you have to solve Wordle on your own first. The bot literally hijacks you if you haven’t solved Wordle on the system where you are accessing the bot.
If you solved it on a different system, but still want the bot to analyze your work, you can upload an image of the completed Wordle.
Chastened, I came back to today’s Wordle and started solving it. With or without a bot, I’m still determined to finish in three. Usually I succeed. Today, not quite.
My progress is below in the gallery. Again, if you haven’t played Wordle today, stop, go play, then come back.
Even though I failed to solve this Wordle in three, I felt pretty good about my results. I was curious if Worlde Bot would agree.
The bot starts with an overall scan, which rates you on skill, luck, and stages. I’m glad they got “Chance” because that’s a big part of the game, especially on that first word where if you’re lucky you can type in four letters or even a full word. If your guess caused you to take a big leap forward in solving the puzzle, this increases your “Luck” rating.
The skill is about how your guesses reduce the number of turns needed to solve the Wordle.
The steps correspond to the number of turns it took you to guess the word of the day. My ratings, which compare me to the average of all New York Times Wordle players, are below.
I’m not going to lie, the skill rating of 77 is a bit disappointing. I don’t like being “below average”.
The best part of Worlde Bot is its step-by-step analysis, and that’s where I learned what might be one of the best starting words ever.
It turns out that “CRATE”, a word I rarely used in this game, is an exemplary starting word. This reduces the number of possible Wordle guesses from 2,309 to 73. It’s a solid job and I think I’ll use “CRATE” again in the future.
My second guess may look poor because it doesn’t use the single letter I got in the first guess. However, it is my tried and true strategy to build a Wordle win in three by collecting as many extra letters as I can guess two.
Wordle Bot does not discuss this strategy but notes that “BOOK” is a great choice because it roughly halves the number of possible remaining answers.
What I started to realize is that I always thought wrongly about winning Wordle. It is not so much a question of finding the word by elimination and addition of letters but, at each round, of radically modifying the number of possible guesses remaining.
Wordle Bot is also here to let you know, as gently as possible, when you’ve made a mistake, and in my next guess, I’ve chosen wrong.
“CLUNK” was a bad choice for so many reasons. It’s not an obvious word and, as Wordle Bot notes, I eliminated one of the two remaining choices – but the wrong one.
With one option remaining, Wordle Bot informs me, I believe unsarcastically, that I should fix this on my next guess.
I literally had a choice and, yes, I had it.
Wordle Bot is a bit of a show-off. Her last act is to compare your solution to how she – a robot, mind you – would have solved it.
Wordle Bot reportedly got the answer in three tries. Good for you, Wordle Bot, good for you.