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Wordle: The best start words, tips and hints

Fight with Wordl? You’re not alone. And that’s why we put our heads together and listed our top Wordle tips.

Initial words are key: “ADIEU” is popular because it contains four vowels, although game designer Tyler Glaiel suggests the mathematically optimal first guess is “ROATE,” which I’ve never heard of (Merriam-Webster informs me it is one obsolete spelling of “rote”).

I understand the argument that there are only five vowels (and sometimes Y) so you don’t need to figure those out right away. But um what can I say, I like knowing the vowels, it helps narrow my options. I started with ADIEU, but these days I also like to start with REGAL just to get the E and A information known and to see if my favorite consonants are involved. AISLE is also a favorite for me as it uses three vowels and two favorite consonants.

And check out this CNET TikTok that recommends starting with ADIEU and then building in STORY. It’s a great one-two punch that covers many popular letters. When I first tried it, I was able to use the letter information I gleaned from these guesses to easily get the word on my third try.

I’ve asked Wordle creator Josh Wardle to share his techniques – I haven’t heard of it yet, but if he answers I’ll definitely share. In the meantime, I asked CNET contributors to share their wordle strategies and favorite words to start with. Hope it gives you a BOOST or maybe a NUDGE.

Big AUDIO dynamite

“AUDIO. Get 4 out of 5 vowels out of the way right away and focus on narrowing down the consonants. However, don’t be afraid to deviate from your regular opening word – sometimes a random word that pops into your head ends up as a path more intuitive than you could have ever imagined.” —Ashley Esqueda

A blank LOOK

“My point of contact is STARE. I’m a little inspired by the movement of the wheel of fortune to guess RSTLNE first, and with that I knock off two vowels as well. At least that often seems to give me something to get in early.” —Eli Blumenthal

Get TEARS

I run through TEARY, PIOUS and ADIEU as the first word to knock out some common letters and introduce vowels. I then choose my next word based on the results, although sometimes I just throw my hands up and use both TEARY and PIOUS one after the other no matter what.” —Amanda Koser

MAKER brand

“MAKER. This word puts me in the mood to ‘create’ the answer based on the data I get from knocking out the letter combination above. Then I move on to animal names like TIGER. It’s less tactical and more just having fun for about five minutes.” —Mike Sorrentino

Use strange words

“You’re not playing Wordle properly if you start with the same word every day. That’s my official rule and I’m amazed you guys use the same word every day. What? Use strange words eyes and flip to a random page. Start with YACHT one day, try ULCER the next. Look around the room! TOAST? Why not? Just do it! Come on folks. It’s not about clearing every day in the fewest number of moves , it’s about learn to love yourself.” —Jackson Ryan

CHEAT and try the NYT Spelling Bee

“I initially played around with FIRST, MANIC or CHEAT. I don’t know if that says more about my mood than my word-solving skills, but this approach has pretty much got me solving within three words (I PANIC in two the other day!), but I have to say that while I Wordle but am still a bigger fan of NYT’s Spelling Bee, where you are asked to form seven-letter words, and each word must use the letter in the middle of the puzzle. I play Spelling Bee With my husband (he gets half the points for Genius; I get the other half). We play with Wordle against each other to see who can solve faster. So Spelling Bee just seems nicer.” —Connie Guglielmo

wheel good plan

“First, I make sure I do it before my morning coffee to add an extra level of difficulty. I don’t have a word to match as that feels kind of cheap, but I generally aim for initial words that place a high value on either the vowel number or the good old-fashioned wheel of fortune letters: RSTLNE. If it works for Pat Sajak’s crew, it’s good enough for me.” —Andrew Krok

An argument for ADIEU

“I’ve been using ADIEU since day one. Weirdly, I still spell it wrong. Sometimes to shake things up – mostly under pressure from Jackson Ryan – I try something different. But every time I deviate from ADIEU, it manifests itself in a gigantic struggle that I can hardly recover from. Either way, I don’t know what we’re all arguing about. Someone did an experiment on this. The best word is ROATE. —Markus Serrels

story time

“I’ll steal Mark’s word, ADIEU, and follow him with STORY. Then it’s just a matter of putting all the letters I’ve spotted in the places I think they are and banging my head on the table and saying, ‘I’m not that stupid.’ , or?’ until I figure it out.” —Oscar Gonzales

The first word that comes to mind

“I am a high risk, high reward wordle player. I really pick the first word that comes to mind without any strategy. Aside from the fact that this is the purest form of wordling (as the experts apparently say), when I’m lucky enough to accidentally get three or four letters out of five right, it’s immensely satisfying.” —Monisha Ravisetti

Not easy being green

“TREAD is a winner, but I like getting my first word mixed up. However, I always have a few rules for the first guess. At least two vowels. Never use an S. (This guess of S will come in handy later when you realize you’re incredibly dimwitted and can only think of four-letter guesses. Final Rule: Your second guess should never include your greens from guess one (unless you’re in hard mode.) Save those greens for later and throw five new letter guesses into the mix.If I see you post a wordle reply on twitter with big green columns of letters stay in the same place, i will to judge you.” —Claire Reilly

Guess it in two

“My ultimate goal at Wordle is to guess the word on my second try. To that end, I use STEAR as my first word, which offers a solid set of letters in unusual positions – so I can often predict where they’ll go when they turn yellow. From then on, I make aggressive guesses, even if they aren’t strategically advisable (double letters, few vowels, low-probability letters, etc.) Since starting this strategy, my average has been about the same as before, but now I occasionally win in two installments. So, success?” –-David Priest

Don’t fail

“I don’t believe in strategy. Choose the word that speaks to you the most in the morning and follow your heart. Starting with a tactically effective word makes it too easy anyway. So what if you fail? It’s just Wordle! (But I want to make it clear that I never fail, not even when there’s an X in the word.)” —Sarah McDermott

https://www.cnet.com/culture/internet/wordle-the-best-start-words-tips-and-hints/ Wordle: The best start words, tips and hints

Chris Barrese

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