Wordle’s WordleBot has come up with a new opening word that’s supposed to give you the best possible start to your games.
The new recommended word is the result of an upgrade to WordleBot’s algorithm announced by the game’s owner, The New York Times (NYT), on Wednesday, August 17.
Introduced in April, WordleBot is designed to help you hone your Wordle skills so that you’ll spend less time pulling your hair out when you can’t find the solution as quickly as you’d like.
WordleBot assesses each of your guesses in any given game and then offers concise analysis and useful tips — as well as a slew of stats — that are designed to help you up your game.
So what exactly is WordleBot’s new recommended opening word? Slate, replacing crane.
Actually, it has two recommended words, one for Wordle’s regular mode (slate) and another for hard mode: Least, replacing dealt.
The NYT says that crane and dealt are still “outstanding opening guesses,” explaining that the difference between the recommended opening guess and the next best option is actually minuscule.
The news outlet said that WordleBot came up with the new recommended starting word after it made a number of alterations to the way the bot works.
“The biggest change since we introduced the bot four months ago is its solving method,” the NYT explained. “WordleBot no longer knows the 2,300-word Wordle solution list, putting it on a more even footing with humans. Instead, it assigns roughly 4,500 relatively common English words a probability of being a Wordle solution, based on what it has observed about the words that have been solutions so far.”
It added that the more common a word is (according to how often it’s appeared in the NYT since 2010), the more likely it is to be a Wordle solution. “On the other hand, plural nouns and past-tense verbs have rarely been solutions, so the bot considers these words to be less likely,” it said.
It noted that WordleBot’s estimates aren’t perfect but added that it should get better, with the improvements certain to lead to new recommendations for the opening word over time.
While Wordle itself is free, WordleBot’s wisdom is not. The most cost-efficient way to get full access to WordleBot is via Times Games, which costs 75 cents a week, billed at $3 every four weeks.
Wordle quickly became a global phenomenon when it hit the web late last year as a daily word challenge. Created by Welsh software engineer John Wardle, the game’s popularity prompted the NYT to buy the rights to it for more than a million dollars in January.
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