‘Wordle’ confirms the optimal starting word

Though starting with 'Fuzzy' isn't the end of the world

The New York Times has confirmed the best opening word to use while playing Wordle.

Since the game launched in October 2021, there’s been plenty of speculation about the optimal word to use when starting a game. One mathematician created an automated bot to test over 12,000 words, while online urban legend suggests words like ‘Irate’ or ‘Salet’ are best because of their vowels.

In creating their WordleBot, though, New York Times has found ‘Crane’ to be the best place to start while ‘Crate’, ‘Slate’, ‘Slant’ and ‘Trace’ are also very good guesses, as are ‘Lance’, ‘Carte’, ‘Least’ and ‘Trice’.


However, ‘Crane’ has never been the actual answer to Wordle.

Explaining their work, New York Times said: “WordleBot solves the 2,309 possible Wordles using the fewest number of guesses when it starts with ‘Crane’ in normal mode and ‘Dealt’ in hard mode”, a version of Wordle where “any revealed hints must be used in subsequent guesses. “

“This may surprise some readers, who have seen, in various places across the internet, people claim that words like ‘Irate’, ‘Salet’ or ‘Raise’ are the best openers. The truth is that it depends exactly how you’re playing and whether you are a human or a computer,” the post continued.

They go on to explain that different algorithms take different approaches to solve the problem with WordleBot restricted “to about 4,500 words that are more common among English speakers — it didn’t seem particularly helpful for a piece of software to recommend words like ‘Voema’, ‘Cusso’, ‘Skatt’ or ‘Zebub’.”


“Apart from all that, it’s worth noting that the perfect opening word for a computer isn’t necessarily the perfect opening word for you. WordleBot has perfect knowledge of the 2,309 solutions stored in its memory. It’s likely that you do not. So while the bot might know the precise optimal path to take from a given guess, it’s possible that you might not and that a different guess would be more likely to lead you to the answer.”

“More importantly, unless you’re playing in hard mode, every game of Wordle is solvable regardless of which word you choose first. So go ahead, start with ‘Fuzzy’, we won’t stop you.”

Of course, the easiest way to solve Wordle is to simply read the solution – check here for today’s answer. 

In other news, Michael French, head of Games London, has spoken about the need for diversity in all aspects of gaming, including the metaverse.

It comes following a census of the gaming industry that said diversity in the sector was getting better…but only slowly.

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