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What is Wordle? How to play the game that’s taking over your social media timeline

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What is Wordle? How to play the game that's taking over your social media timeline
Credit: Josh Wardle (website/game), Berrely (vectorizing), Public domain

You might have seen those rows of colored blocks on your social media timeline in recent weeks, but what do they mean?

They’re from a simple but immensely popular word game that has captivated the internet and led many players to share their results with social media followers. As of Sunday, the game had brought in more than 300,000 players.

The game is called Wordle, a word guessing game that tasks the player with correctly selecting a random five-letter word.

You only get six tries to guess the word, but the game will give you hints along the way.

You’ll start out by randomly guessing any word that matches the number of digits in the mystery word (a.k.a. the word you’re trying to decipher). From there, the game will tell you if each letter you guess is either in the word and in the correct place (green), in the word but not in the correct place (yellow), or not in the word at all (gray).

It certainly helps to have luck on your side when trying to crack the Wordle code, but it involves logic as well.

One of the key features of the game is that it only generates a new mystery word once every 24 hours. So, once you take a stab at figuring out today’s word, you won’t get a new word to guess until midnight.

That’s by design, game creator Josh Wardle told the New York Times.

“It’s something that encourages you to spend three minutes a day,” he told the Times. “And that’s it. Like, it doesn’t want any more of your time than that.”

The game also offers a “hard mode,” which forces the player to use every letter marked with a yellow or green hint in every subsequent guess.

Watch out for spoilers, too. Everyone playing the game is trying to guess the same word, each day.

Once you finish the puzzle, the game gives you the option to share your results using a graphical depiction of how your game went. Pasted below are this author’s results from today’s puzzle, which was the 202nd edition of Wordle (hence the 202). He guessed today’s word in his fourth try out of six possible attempts (hence the 4/6).

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