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Expert Insider Wordle Techniques & Tricks

@ ProofreadingPal
February 4, 2022
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The Wordle fad is in full force. Combining the skills needed for Spelling Bee, Crossword, and Hangman (Wheel of Fortune), the game has appealed to the word nerd in us all.

Of course, it also helps that the site is free without ads and has an easy way to share (i.e., brag about) your score online. And there’s that supersmart feature of only having one word puzzle per day, so it’s

  • Not a time suck; and
  • Hard to burn out on.

Of course, one day the craze will calm down, but for now, if you’d like a little help amazing your friends with your mad word-nerd skillz, here are some tips and tricks.

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Find the Vowels

With only five letter slots and five (well, five and a half) vowels, determining which vowel is the star is paramount. Good first words include two or three vowels, with one of them being an E. In fact, not having an E is why I don’t like the popular choice AUDIO to start with. If we know the solution doesn’t have an E, we can eliminate a lot of words.

Also, don’t use a word that repeats letters. We want to make every letter of that first word count.


Use Popular Consonants

The most often-used consonants are S, T, and R. L and N are also popular. Although it’s great to think that using a word with X, Z, or Q in your opening guess will narrow things down quickly, the odds don’t favor this strategy. You’re likely to get a bunch of gray squares that don’t bring you much closer to a good guess.

Play the odds and go for the common letters on the first couple of tries.


Think about the rarer letters for guesses three and four.

Remember Letter Groupings

Some letters often go together, especially as prefixes and suffixes:

  • NON
  • ING
  • TION
  • PRE
  • EST
  • ENCE

So, if you’ve got a word with N in the second-to-last slot, ask if ING leads anywhere. Is R in the second slot? How about TR or CR or PR? Sure, it might be AR or ER, but a consonant is more likely, especially when we’re talking about a five-letter (and so probably one-syllable) word. Think about it.

Easy ER five-letter words include:


Easy PR five-letter words include:


Use That Keyboard Feature

Once you’re past your second guess, it’s time to branch out a little bit. The keyboard, like Hangman but not Wheel of Fortune, offers an easy overview of what has and hasn’t been guessed.

Use those untouched letters to try out candidates in your head. Do you have more guesses if you use B or P? D or M? Does trying an X or Q lead to sudden inspiration? Run through possibilities before you type. Speaking of which . . .

Don’t Rush

Another appealing factor of Wordle is not being timed. It’s the low number of guesses that impresses, not a quick reaction time. With a little luck on your first guess, you might get the solution in two or three tries.

For example, I solved a Wordle in (ahem) two tries a few days ago by getting lucky on that first word.

Think about it and play the odds. It’s doubtful the word starts with E. It’s much more likely to end with an E. We know S is in the right place, so it’s not a plural word. The only other known consonant is T. If we put T in the first slot, it’s probably TR or TH. So, we’ve got:

  • TH_SE (THASE? THISE? Nope. THESE? THOSE? Looks likely.)

So, if we’ve guessed well so far, it’s 50/50 to be THESE or THOSE.

And it was THOSE.

Enjoy Yourself

It’s another day before the next game, so relax. Even if you close the tab and go do something else for a while, the game will resume whenever you want. And if a word takes six tries, so what? You still win.

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Julia H.

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