Some Wordle puzzles leave you scratching your head to find any word that might fit into a particular pattern of letters. Wordle #282 was just the opposite of this, and provided a situation where I had too many solutions – more than the number of guesses available to me.
I started with a word that uses the two most common vowels, A and E:
None of the letters were correct, so I now wanted to find a word that used the two next most common vowels, I and O, together with some other common consonants:
The word was now taking shape: I had three of the letters, two in the correct position. It looked as though the D must come at the end of the word, and there was a good chance that the letter between O and N would be a U:
My third guess confirmed my ideas about the general shape of the word. Now all I had to do was find the first letter. My problem was that I could think of five possible answers that all fitted the pattern using letters that were still available: BOUND, FOUND, HOUND, MOUND, WOUND. But I had only three guesses remaining, so if the answer was my fourth or fifth guess, I would lose the game. My chances were only 60%. Could I do anything to improve the odds? Yes! If I could come up with a word that contained three of the candidate letters B, F, H, M and W, I could either confirm or eliminate those letters in a single guess and so ensure that I won the game, even if I forfeited the chance of winning immediately:
I did not find the missing letter, but at least this guess served its purpose of eliminating three of the possible solutions, WOUND, MOUND, AND BOUND. So the answer had to be either FOUND or HOUND, and I still had two guesses left. I managed to pick the correct one:
As with Wordle #281, using up one of my guesses on a word that I knew was not the correct solution proved to be a good way to win the game. In fact, if I had gone with the alternative of WHIFF instead of WOMBS for my fourth guess, I would have found out that the solution contained an F and my fifth guess would have been a certainty rather than a fifty-fifty chance.
The other option when you get stuck at Wordle is to use our Wordle Helper tool.
Written by Ian Brookes, writer and editor.
All opinions expressed on this blog are those of the individual writers, and do not necessarily reflect the opinions or policies of Collins, or its parent company, HarperCollins.