Why Wordle is the new sourdough starter

January 18, 2022

Five letters, six attempts, one word— can you guess it correctly? By now, you probably already know that we are talking about Wordle—the latest pandemic craze that has got all the Scrabble and Sudoku fans locked onto their screens on a daily basis, reports the UK’s Press and Journal.

Created in October 2021 by a Brooklyn-based software engineer, Wordle is a “simple, but challenging” vocabulary game that’s become the sourdough bread of 2022.Since it first popped up on our social media feeds, the game has gone viral worldwide—going from dozens of players to hundreds of thousands in just a few months.

Even if you still haven’t given in to the obsession, yourself, you have almost certainly come across the mysterious grid of green, gray, and yellow squares.

But in case you are still wondering what the craze is all about, or you’re pondering how to crack the code and become the new Wordle, the Press and Journal has got you covered.

First, the basics: Wordle is a daily vocabulary game  that gives players six tries to deduce a five-letter word of the day. After each attempt, the tiles change color.

Everyone gets the same word each day, and the game can only be played once per day—so if you get it wrong, you must wait 24 hours to have another shot with a new puzzle.

After each session, players can share their results on social media using emoji that correspond to the game board. Indeed, social media has played a crucial part in the game’s popularity—with thousands of people sharing their results every day.

However, the app doesn’t reveal the correct word to avoid spoiling the fun for other players.

Above, the mission is to guess a five letter word in six attempts. (Visual source: Pre


If any of the letters from the word you have typed in shows up as green, they’re in the word of the day and in that exact same position. If any of them turns yellow, it means the letter is in the word of the day; however, the position of the letter in the final word is different.If any of the letters goes grey, it does not appear in the word of the day.ss and Journal)

The game is fairly simple and quick, however it has proven to be increasingly compelling.

Aberdeen NHS psychologist Emma Hepburn thinks that “community element” is probably the most important aspect of Wordle at a time when many might feel isolated. The light-hearted nature of the game and its accessibility also potentially add to its appeal, as Wordle presents a “nice and simple diversion” from the pandemic.

And while she says we can’t really be scientific about why it has become an obsession, Dr. Hepburn thinks it’s possible that it has come at “the right time” to connect with peoples’ particular feelings and mental state.

She said: “Craze with games come and go quite regularly if you think about all the kids’ or brain games that have come up in previous years. And it’s probably one of those things that have come at the right time.

“I guess we are in the middle of winter, it’s a bit grim, and Wordle is a kind of light-hearted, fun and achievable game, that also has a lovely story behind it.

It’s something to anticipate and look forward to as well. That’s a really positive thing for wellbeing —to try something that is totally new and gives you a bit of a challenge.”

Five tips to become a Wordle master

While Wordle was created to entice crossword enthusiasts looking for a quick and fun timeout, there is of course an element of friendly competition as well.

Senior Lecturer in Language and Linguistics at Aberdeen University Elspeth Edelstein thinks the best way to crack the code is to delve a bit deeper into how words are formed. As someone who has also been consumed by the game for the past few weeks, Edelstein shared the top five tips to become a Wordle champion:

  1. Start with a word that has a lot of vowels:Try to include “e,” “a,” or “o” in the first word you type in to get a clearer picture of what the word of the day might be from the get-go.
  2. Use more common letters such as “s,” “t,” and “r”:You will have a greater chance of guessing the word from the second or third attempt if you start with words like “raise,” “heart,” or “tears.”
  3. Think about the common placement of specific letters in words:There are certain letters that are more likely to be at the end of the word–or are unlikely to be at the beginning. For example, many words finish on a “y” or a silent “e.”
  4. Think about common letter combinations:Some letters just don’t really go with each other, while others do, on a fairly frequent basis. For example, it’s more likely to have a “d” or a “b” before an “r.”
  5. Avoid using the letters in grey:You can only use valid words to guess the letter; however, try to use only letters that you haven’t previously typed in. It gives you limited options, but it’s the best way to crack the final word as quickly as possible.

Research contact: @PressandJournal