(Kruiser’s Permanote Description: This column is intended to be a lighthearted, short-form way to frequently connect with our cherished VIP readers. Sometimes it will be serious. Sometimes it will be fun. Sometimes it will be a cornucopia of intellectual curiosities and fascinations. OK, maybe not so much the last one. Anyway, as this is a departure for me, I’m including this explanation at the top of each post for a while. Also, non-subscribers can see the first couple of paragraphs so I am in desperate need of filler until we get to the private stuff (subscribe here). Please remember that there is a standing invitation to ask me anything in the comments. Once in a while, I’ll answer some of them.)
A lot of my recurring columns went dormant for the last couple of months and I wish I had a good reason for that but…nah. We’re back in regular business now, however. I miss doing these in particular because they’re almost always lighthearted fare. The world needs more of that right now.
I am a huge word game fan. I started playing Scrabble on the first ancient laptop I took on the road in my early stand-up days and have never stopped. Boggle is fun too. Recently, I was talked into playing Words With Friends again, even though I find the mobile app gaming experience with the ads a bit annoying.
That brings me to the joy of Wordle.
In the last week, I began noticing people posting their Wordle stats all over social media. To those of us who didn’t know what the game was, it seemed as if the Wordle folk were communicating in some sort of cultish code. I had some free time on my hands over the weekend so I decided to bite and see what the cryptic code-talkers were on about.
In the span of three months, Wordle went from a personal gift to a viral sensation — and now, everyone wants in.
The buzz can be attributed to the spoiler-free scoring grid of green, yellow, black and white blocks that allows players to share their Wordle wins across social media, group chats and more. To play the game, players guess a predetermined five-letter word in just six tries, similar to the process in “Lingo,” a popular late ’80s game show. The yellow and green squares indicate that Wordle players guessed a correct letter or a combined correct letter and correct placement for that letter.
The instructions on the game’s own site are pretty sparse, which is part of the beauty of it. There is nothing there but a quick primer and the game. No ads. No bonus purchases. No premium version.
Just. The. Game.
Adding to the whole quirky vibe is the fact that there is only one game every 24 hours. Everyone is playing the same game that day, which makes it a global competition. People who are posting their results when they do well are engaging in a sort of polite, word game addict smack talk.
Here’s what the sharing looks like:
OK, I finally tried it. Wordle 210 3/6
— SFK (@stephenkruiser) January 15, 2022
As the Times article said, the results are spoiler-free since everyone is playing the same game each day.
That was my first game. I had one letter correct on the first guess but it was in the wrong place, so it was a yellow square. I got it in the right place on the second guess but didn’t get any other letters. With very little to go on, I took a guess on my third try and got it. I’m still stunned 36 hours later.
It took me five tries to get it for my second game and, honestly, I felt like I brought shame upon my house.
I still had fun though.
My first loss will no doubt be rough but good for building my character.
Trust me, it’s good free fun that will distract you from a mad world for a few minutes a day. Like a cocktail, but easier on the liver.