‘Wordle’s Most Effective Starting Word, As Determined By A Bot
By Mikelle Leow, 08 Feb 2022
There’s just something so delightful about the simplicity of Wordle. You first think of a five-letter word and run with it, see if it takes you somewhere. Within minutes, your daily happy fix is served, and you return the next day and try again.
Part of that joy comes from the first guess—but if you’re not here to have fun, and you’re here to win (you do you, America’s next top model), then you might wish to place your faith on a tried-and-tested strategy. Numerous articles have been written about the “best” words to start with, and artificial intelligence has now crunched some of those suggestions to find what it deduces is the most effective one.
YouTuber Grant Sanderson, who goes by the moniker 3Blue1Brown, developed a bot to try out 12,000 words on the game, and then used an algorithm to come up with possible second words based on the results from the first try.
It was decided through this experiment that the word to get you to a solution quickly would be “CRANE.” Ideally, though, your next word shouldn’t have any of those letters as you’ll need to discover as many correct letters as possible. Recommendations for follow-ups include “SHTIK” and “SLOTH.”
As quoted by Kotaku, others before Sanderson personally found that choosing “SOARE” and “SAINE,” as well as “TARES,” LARES,” “RALES,” “RATES,” and “CARES,” worked best as openers (they used a code too), but Sanderson’s video appears to validate that “CRANE” could be the safest bet.
Knowing these words could be a curse for some; your inner rebel might ultimately choose to ignore all of them so that you can enjoy the game as it is.
With that being said, there are a few hints to help you obtain your answer promptly, without considering any of those above suggestions. Your starting word should contain multiple frequently-used letters, as well as more than one unique vowel.
Wordle’s unadulterated charm is why people have been so irate—there’s another five-letter word for you—about the New York Times acquiring the game. It will soon join the newspaper’s game subscription service but remain free, at least for a while.
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