Still in Wordle ? The game can be tricky and first words are very important. "ADIEU" has been popular since the beginning, which makes sense since it contains four vowels. But not everyone wants to know the vowels right away.
Game designer Tyler Gleil suggests that the mathematically correct first guess is "ROATE", which I haven't heard of (Merriam-Webster informs me that's an outdated spelling of "mechanism").
I was looking at a list of the most used letters in English words and recently it started in Wordle with "TRAIN" and "CLOSE" removed. This combination uses all of the first 10 letters and I almost always leave a good set of correct guesses, but not always in the right places. These are hypotheses three through six.
Check out this CNET TikTok that recommends starting with GOODBYE then moving on to HISTORY. It's a great one-two that includes lots of popular fonts. The first time I tried it, I was able to use the letter information from those guesses to easily get the word out on the third try.
I asked several CNET staffers to share their Wordle strategies and favorite words to get started. Hope this gives you an incentive or maybe a boost.
Table of Contents
Large AUDIO dynamite
AUDIO Immediately remove 4 out of 5 vowels and focus on consonant shortening. Don't be afraid to deviate from the usual opening word, sometimes a random word that comes to mind turns out to be much more intuitive than you might have imagined. -Ashley Esqueda
A blank stare
My difficulty is ALBANIA. The Wheel of Fortune movement kinda inspired me to invent RSTLNE in the first place, and I add two vowels to it. At least he often gives me something in the bucket in advance. -Eli Blumenthal
As a first word, I go through TEARY, PIOUS and ADIEU to drop some common letters and put them in the vowels. So I choose the next word based on the results, although sometimes I raise my hand and use TEAR and PLUS. -Amanda Kooser
RECEIVER This word makes me want to "create" an answer based on the clues I get by deleting the combination of letters above. Then I move on to animal names like TIGER. It's not so much a tactic as a five-minute pleasure. –Mike Sorrentino
Use rare words
You behave inappropriately if you use the same word to start Wordle every day. It's my official rule and I'm shocked to use the same word every day. What? Use rare words. Take a dictionary, close your eyes and go to a random page. Start with YACHT in one day, try ULCER in one day. Look around the room! Superior? Why not? Does everything! Go on. It's not about making as few moves as possible each day, but about learning to love yourself . -Jackson Ryan
Cheat and try the NYT Spelling Bee
To start I play with FIRST, MANIC or CHEAT. I don't know if that says more about my ability to understand words than it does about my mood, but this approach solves me in three words. (The first two freaked me out!) But I have to say that while I love Wordle, I'm still a big fan of the NYT Spelling Bee, where you're asked to write seven-letter words and every word has one. use the letter in the center of the puzzle. I play Spelling Bee with my husband (he gets half the points for Genius, I get the other half). With Wordle, we play against each other to see who can solve it the fastest. So the spelling bee looks prettier. – Guillaume's horses
Good wheel plan
First, I do it before my morning coffee for an extra level of difficulty. I don't have big words because it sounds a bit cheap, but I generally want initials with lots of vowels and letters in an old-fashioned wheel of fortune: RSTLNE. If it works for Pat Sajak's team, it works for me. –Andrea Kroc
I have been using ADIEU since day one. It's funny, sometimes I'm still wrong. Sometimes, to shake things up, especially under pressure from Jackson Ryan, I try something different. But every time I leave GOODBYE, it turns into a gigantic uphill battle that I can barely recover from. Anyway, I don't know what we're talking about. Someone did an experiment on this. A better word is ROATE. -Mark Sellells
I steal Mark's speech, goodbye and away with HISTORY. Then it's just a matter of putting all the letters I've found where I think I can and banging my head on the table, "I'm not that stupid, am I? " until you understand – Oscar Gonzalez
The first word that comes to mind
I am a high risk, high reward wordle player. I only choose the first word that comes to mind without any strategy. Besides being the purest form of pun (apparently according to the experts), if I'm lucky enough to mistakenly guess three or four of the five letters correctly, it's incredibly satisfying. -Manisha Ravisetty
It's not easy being green
TREAD is a winner, but I like to get my first word wrong. However, I still have a few rules to clear up first. At least two vowels. Never use S. (This S puzzle comes in handy when you realize you're too smart and can only think of four-letter puzzles. One last rule: your second puzzle should never include green puzzles (unless you're not on hard mode) . . Save that green for later and add five new letters to the mix. If you see me tweeting a Wordle reply with long columns of green letters in one place, I I will judge you – – Claire Reilly
My ultimate goal in Wordle is to guess the word on the second try. For this, I use STEAR as the first word, which provides a solid set of letters in unusual positions; so when they turn yellow I can often predict where they will go. From there, I make aggressive assumptions, even if strategically undesirable (double letters, few vowels, low probability letters, etc.). Since I started this strategy, my average is the same as usual, but now every once in a while I win on both assumptions. So arrived? -David Priest
I don't believe in strategy. Choose the word that speaks to you the most in the morning and follow your heart. However, it is too easy to start with a tactically effective word. What if it doesn't work? It's just Wordle! (But let me make it clear that I'm never wrong, even when there's an X.) – Sarah McDermott
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