Students embrace community and strategy through Wordle


Illustration by Janna Lee

Wordle is a popular online puzzle that’s taking NU’s student body by storm.

Joanna Hou, Copy Editor

SESP sophomore Dalia Segal-Miller’s sister sent a Wordle link to her family group chat three weeks ago. Ever since, she has played the game every day and now, her friends are on board too.

Wordle is an online puzzle in which players have six tries to guess a pre-set five-letter word. The game guides users as they play by indicating the letters that are correctly guessed and placed with the color green, correctly guessed but in the wrong slot with the color yellow and letters that don’t appear in the word at all with the color gray. The game also has a color blind option. 

The game is unique because of its once-a-day playability; everyone receives the same word, and the puzzle doesn’t reset until midnight in the player’s time zone. While some students said they want more chances to play Wordle, many others, like Segal-Miller, said the once-a-day aspect builds suspense and community excitement.

“It’s just nice to have something that I can sign on to every day, normally when my roommate and I are up past midnight, we’ll do it immediately at the same time, so it’s just a nice community building thing,” Segal-Miller said. “It’s so unrelated to school and to the stress of everything going on, so it’s something I can always look forward to every day.”

Even though Wordle is a solo game, many people said they share their results with their families, friends and significant others. Some friend groups engage in competitions with each other to see who can solve the day’s Wordle in the least number of attempts

Communication freshman Jeff Snedegar said he loves playing Wordle in groups. He and his friends share their daily performances with each other in a group chat, and he said he’s even bonded with strangers. 

“I’ve met some people through Wordle just at Norris, you see them playing and you work on it a little bit together, a little bit on your own,” Snedeger said. “It’s just a shared experience, (there’s) relatability and it’s easy for talking.”

For others, like McCormick freshman Justin Dong, Wordle is strategic. Dong said he’s always liked playing analytical games, like crossword puzzles, and said Wordle was just another fast game he can engage in. 

 Dong said part of his love for Wordle is rooted in math. 

“There’s the mathematical component part of it where you try to analyze what the probability of a letter being in a certain spot is and analyze how letters combine,” Dong said. 

Picking the first word is a heavily-debated aspect of the game because it can reveal the most about the rest of the puzzle while still leaving behind five more guesses.McCormick freshman Melanie Rudolph said the strategy to success lies in the first two guesses. 

Many ensure that their choices are strategic in letter content. Dong picks the word ADIEU because it tests four vowels. Medill senior Jiakai Chang goes with the word STARE because he said it encompasses two of the more used vowels and some of the most popular consonants. Snedegar said his first word comes from a linguist’s advice. 

“I found a guy on TikTok and he said that the best word to use is IRATE because it has an R and a T which are very common consonants and then the I A E, which are vowels,” Snedegar said. “So I always start with that one. It generally does me pretty well.” 

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Twitter: @joannah_11

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