The Best Wordle Starting Word Isn't What You Think
Or maybe it is, but still. Branch out, won't you?
This post originally appeared at my Forbes blog. I have begun writing a near-daily Wordle guide there and have written a few other pieces about the daily word puzzle game, including this post which . . . is more than just a Wordle post, I believe, which is why I’m sharing it here.
Since I originally posted this, The New York Times has released a Wordle-bot which has confirmed that the best starting word is, in fact, ‘Crane’ which is what my friend Paul Tassi uses every day. This does not change a thing. I stand by my argument below. Enjoy.
We’ve all seen the articles: This Is The Best Wordle Starting Word According To [Science, Linguistics, Math, AI, A Panel Of Geniuses, etc.]
Somewhere out there, we’re told, is the statistically best-suited word to begin our Wordles with. The unicorn. The magic bullet.
I get it. We all want to employ strategies for success, which is why I wrote my Wordle Tips & Tricks guide.
The only problem?
It’s all a bunch of rubbish.
In my own guide, I don’t give you the ‘best’ word at all, but I do suggest people pick words with common letters. Most of my suggestions are a little bit vague: Play puzzle games, read books, become more familiar with both language and the act of puzzle-solving.
Relying on a ‘best’ word is folly. There’s no word that will guarantee you the most success when it comes to winning at Wordle.I don’t care what the genius linguist statisticians say. This is a bad way to play the game.
Don’t get me wrong. If you want to guess the ‘best’ word each and every time, or if you’re just superstitious to the point where you always use the numbers 4, 8, 15, 16, 23 and 42 when you buy a lottery ticket, more power to you. Everyone has their own personal strategy and that’s fine.
I just think it’s kind of silly and pointless. How much does guessing the ‘best’ word actually increase your odds? Considering there’s around 2,000 possible words right now, probably not much. Besides, a bad first guess can be useful, too, by eliminating possible letters.
More to the point, this must get tiresome after a while. It just sounds boring to me.
I change my starting word every single time. It’s more fun to think of new words every day, and the different combination and order of letters keeps things interesting. You could tally up all the five-letter words in this post and have great starting words for days.
The best starting word for Wordle doesn’t exist. It’s whatever word pops into your brain when you start the game each day. Or something you read the night before in a blog post, or overheard someone say on the way to work.
It’s lousy because that’s how you’re feeling, or noisy because the neighbors are fighting again, or alone because here you are on a Saturday night, sitting in the kitchen staring at the wall and drinking by yourself, wondering where all the years have gone, wondering if things will ever change. Solving a word puzzle and guzzling gin.
Or maybe it’s train because you’ve always wanted to travel that way, so much legroom and there’s something romantic about it. It must feel like you’re in a movie. Now all you can think about is Double Indemnity and North By Northwest. Old black and white movies about betrayal and greed. Maybe a train isn’t that romantic, after all. But it’s still exciting.
You’re sick of flying because you’ve always been afraid that the plane will crash but too embarrassed to tell anyone. What a silly thing to be afraid of—all the statistics say flying is safer than driving, right? Then again, you’re kind of afraid of driving, too. Too many close calls. That one wreck you saw as a kid still comes back to haunt you now and then.
‘Do people take the train to the beach?’ you wonder aloud to nobody in particular. Probably not. What a shame. You can picture yourself stepping down out of the boxcar in your swimsuit, sun umbrella in hand, strolling across the sand down to the waves. The sound of seagulls, the salty air. Cool breeze in your face.
Outside, on the street, somebody is playing music. Something unfamiliar.
You can hear the radio blaring and kids laughing and the sunlight is washing through the kitchen window and catching all the dust motes and the smoke from your cigarette into a fiery swirl and it’s beautiful, sure, but all you can think about is how badly you wish that it would rain.
Thanks for reading, folks. Be well.
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As I note above, there is actually a word that will guarantee you more success and it is Crane and yet I still think that’s boring and you should play with lots of different words. But of course, to each their own.