I have a word problem

23 Feb

I freely admit it. I have a word problem.

I came to that realization this morning when I looked up at the clock and realized I’d been sitting on the couch in my pajamas, a long-empty coffee cup at my elbow, doing puzzles on my computer for two hours.

It began innoculously enough. Several weeks ago I was beginning to see my social media feeds filling up with references to this new word game, Wordle. I’m sure you know it; its popularity has been spreading like wildfire, so much so that the New York Times bought it, making its developer quite rich. (Beware for when the Times puts it behind their paywall.)

For a long time, I resisted the urge to fall into its clutches, mostly because of my irrational refusal to be sucked into current fads like a lemming. (I call it my “Cabbage Patch Doll policy.”) But after a few respected friends and readers suggested I try it out, I did. And I got hooked.

I started playing Wordle and found out I was pretty good at it. So much so that it only took a few minutes to puzzle out the solution, leaving me feeling a little cheated. (“What do you MEAN I have to wait until tomorrow for the next one? I want another one NOW!”)

Then last week I saw my friend Patty playing something called “Quordle” on her phone. It looked just like Wordle, but had FOUR boards to be solved simultaneously.

Ooooo. This was exactly what I was looking for.

I immediately became a fan. Having to solve four boards at once was not only more challenging, but took a little longer, so it helped scratch that itch.

Still, I wanted more.

A few days later I saw a reference to something called “Worldle,” which is a Wordle-like geography game (hence “world” in the name, if you didn’t notice that). It’s not a word game, but it is challenging and makes you think.

Then, this morning, I found the word game motherlode in this post from pcgamer.com by Christopher Livingston titled “10 games like Wordle you should add to your daily playlist.” The list included the two new ones I was already playing — Quordle and Worldle — but also games called Nerdle, Crosswordle, Dungleon, Squareword, Squabble, Eldrow, Waffle and Weredle.

Of course I had to do due diligence and try every one of them. They’re all permutations of the original Wordle, but present varying degrees of difficulty. One of them, Nerdle, is mathematics-based, and Dungleon uses fantasy characters.

After exhaustive research (two hours on the couch, recall), I found I didn’t really like most of the new games for one reason of another. But three of them — Waffle, Squareword and Eldrow — seem to have some real promise.

Like Wordle, though, most of these new games post only one puzzle every day, so you have to wait until the following day for another challenge. But now that I have six games to play every morning … that’s probably a good thing.

But I still might have to get a bigger coffee mug.

* * *

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6 Responses to “I have a word problem”

  1. marsha February 23, 2022 at 1:52 pm #

    Great! Now I’ll NEVER get anything done!! I thought it was all over when a “friend” told me that there are Wordle Archives, that you can do as MANY a day as you want!! Now you’ve told me about ALL these word puzzles!!!! Good thing it’s Wintery weather, Covid and I’m more inside than normal!!! THX!!!

  2. Cathy February 24, 2022 at 10:55 am #

    Octordle is one of my favorite games. Have a few of these on my list to try. I like the quordle gives a practice mode.

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