Are your social media feeds clogged with green, yellow, and gray boxes? Thank Wordle

Originally published at: Are your social media feeds clogged with green, yellow, and gray boxes? Thank Wordle | Boing Boing

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Wordle 200 3/6

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I played it for the first time today. I got the word in 4 guesses!

Same here!

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Wordle 200 4/6

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My GF showed it to me and I’ve been playing daily. Super fun. I got three starter words that knock out all the vowels and most common consonants - 15 letters with no repeats!

TRAIN - LOPES - DUCKY

So how do you get the little box result thing? I have just been taking screen caps.

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There’s a share button after you finish the puzzle.

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3 tries

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So it’s just one per day? Is there no way to play previous days?

Great idea, @Mister44!

ETA: It is awesome that they offer a high contrast mode for color blindness. Deepest respect for those that consider all users from the jump.

9 Likes

Wordle 200 4/6

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It worked, thanks!

ETA - I would have gotten it in 3 if I was chasing words vs letters. I tend to focus early on what letters I can figure out, and thinking less about words.

3 Likes

Just once a day, but that makes it so you don’t waste too much time/over do it. It is something to look forward to.

ETA:

One more tip. If you get desperate and having trouble thinking of a word, use this dictionary list. Just like flipping through the real dictionary, it can help you find a word or at least get you started down the right path.

Also, FYI, letters can repeat. But lets say there is only one of a letter, and you used a word with it twice. It will make one letter yellow/green, and grey the other one. If the letter is used twice, both letter will be yellow/green.

Using repeat letters may trip you up because you already used a letter, you aren’t thinking it might be used again.

8 Likes

Wordle 200 4/6

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Fun

I enjoyed the Chuck Woolery version of the show.

2 Likes

The thing I don’t like about this game is that there’s a well-defined word one should always guess first. The math is pretty interesting – think of trying APPLE (a bad guess!) as an experiment with a number of possible green/yellow/gray outcomes, and compute the entropy of that random variable. What you want* is the experiment that gives the most information, on average. It took me about 10 minutes to program and an hour to run.

I won’t spoil the best few words, but will tell you the worst ones: immix xylyl jaffa ayaya kibbi qajaq addax zoppo. So stop leading with those; you know who you are.

*Technically, what this maximizes is your frequency of winning the two-row game. I don’t see any real mathematical shortcut to finding the best initial word in the actual, six-row, game.

3 Likes

Wordle 200 6/6

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I think a good argument can be made that for each guess, you want to make a new guess that reduces the size of possible words the most. Keep in mind that the space of words it lets you guess and the words that can be answers are different (it accepts way more words than will ever be answers)

You can repeat this for each level and never lose and easily beat most humans. I think possibly you could do better by playing out all the possible game trees and picking the one that has the best average outcomes, but this is one of those “it would take every computer in existence until the heath death of the universe” things

Also, it’s true there’s one ideal first word, and there’s one ideal choice for each response you get back, all the way down the line. So if you guess your word and it gives back all gray boxes your next guess is always the same for that situation, etc. Storing results beyond that is probably a waste of time since they get very fast to compute after that.

I wrote a “bot” that works for both hard mode and regular mode - regular mode is actually much harder to compute

(I also made a wordle clone - I can post it if people want. It basically adds variations to the available puzzles and how often you can play, plus it lets people join leagues and get scored over time)

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There is of course a choice being made here – do you want to minimize the average number of guesses, or the maximum number of guesses? (There’s actually a continuous family of optimization problems here, where you minimize the average of the pth power of the number of guesses, where the options just listed are p=1 and p->infinity.) I was definitely going for the first, and I’d wager based on your phrasing that you are going for the second.

I don’t think this is actually a heat-death-of-universe computation, btw, just because you very quickly hit cases where one test fully distinguishes all the remaining cases. (Typically there are about 100 different cases distinguished, and there’s only ~2500 to begin with.)

To shake up the game I think I would have the computer make the first guess.

This is my thought also. Writing a bot made the game personally a lot less interesting.

The creator was speaking on the radio this morning, he deliberately designed it to not be an “addictive” game so one word per 24 hours.

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I was going for minimizing the average, but my bot is playing in a bot league (ok no one else is playing but they might) where you’re scored over many puzzles combined. I have found that in non-hard mode you will win every time with the worst case being 5 guesses. In hard mode you will win ~90% of the time, and your losses will be due to getting into a spot where you have it narrowed down to N choices, and none of the choices reduce the remaining answer pool by more than one. Like imagine you know it is “.RAIN” and there are 3 guesses left. It’s going to be one of GRAIN DRAIN TRAIN BRAIN etc but you don’t know which and each guess gets you no closer. The rules of hard mode forbid you to give a guess that contradicts the hints so far.

Re: heat death I was referring to the method where essentially if you have, say, 12k words to pull from and 6 guesses, the tree size is choose(12000, 6) which is like 10^21. Granted you don’t need to explore every branch but when I tried this method it wasn’t clear to me what score to give to aborted branches (aborted due to winning). I did not put a lot of thought into it.

So this is basically Jotto/Giotto, which I was worried was going extinct! Entertaining pencil/paper game a girlfriend introduced me to a long time ago and I hadn’t met anyone else who played it since.

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Holy moly!

Wordle 200 2/6

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