Wordle craze has students puzzling at midnight

The game Wordle, which has players guess a five-letter word, is the latest internet craze that has spread like wildfire. Students are staying up until midnight to be the fastest to crack the daily puzzle.

The concept of the free game is fairly simple: you have six attempts to guess a five-letter word. American student Tristan Timpers (liberal arts and sciences) told UKrant that he first heard about Wordle a few days ago from his girlfriend. 

Now he plays it every day at midnight when a new word comes out. Wordle only issues one word a day, and it’s the same word for every player in the world. Timpers, his girlfriend, and a friend now have a little competition going on to see who can guess the word first, so he stays up until midnight to get the advantage.

Perfect game

Those who haven’t yet played the game should imagine a grid of six by five tiles. Players enter a word and if a tile turns green, it means that letter is in the right position. If a tile turns yellow, it means the letter is in the word, but in the wrong position. And grey means the letter is wrong all together.

Timpers’ strategy is to start with the word ‘adieu’ to eliminate four vowels at once. Then he tries to use the letters he has left to continue reducing the possibilities.

‘I really like the concept and it feels really exclusive as it’s only once a day’, says Timpers. ‘I really don’t know if it can be improved because it’s such a simple design. I think for me it’s the perfect game’.


Though Wordle seems to be the new kid on the block in puzzle land, the concept is not entirely new. Dutch television viewers might be familiar with the game show Lingo which has been on for decades and uses the same concept. Others may have played the board game Mastermind which involves guessing a combination of colours.

Still, players seem to get hooked on it after only one try. Like Artemis Steakley-Freeman, who is studying to become a teacher. When she logged on to Facebook on January 15, her screen was flooded with people posting their Wordle boxes.

‘All of a sudden I log on and my entire timeline is just like yellow, green, and grey. I had no idea what was going on. But then I tried it and I was like, okay, I understand’, she says.


‘There’s something about being able to figure out, out of every single word in the English language, that one thing they’re trying to get you to do. Because it could be literally anything. So there’s a satisfaction that comes with it’, says Steakley-Freeman.

Like Timpers, Steakley-Freeman stays up until midnight to be able to play Wordle the second a new word is out, although she would prefer if the game could be played more than once a day.


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