As I continue to delight in the deranged conspiracy theories surrounding Wordle, following its purchase by the New York Times, I’m equally thrilled to discover those making increasingly difficult versions of the game. Quordle, a version where you solve four Wordles at once, has become pretty popular, in the wake of Dordle that offered but two. But throw that aside, because the real players are simultaneously solving eight puzzles, in Octordle.
It sounds impossible, and I think by Einsteinian law it should be impossible, but somehow it works. With 13 guesses, you simultaneously play across eight different Wordle grids, attempting to identify all eight words at the same time.
As you can imagine, this introduces a worldle of new tactics to Wordle. If you thought your starting word was important before, now consider it’s attempting to cover eight separate starts at once. And then what about go #2? Are you someone who puts in a whole other set of five letters (and thus revealing you aren’t playing Wordle on its rather hidden “Hard Mode”), or someone who immediately begins pursuing solutions? Is it time to add in a third starter word, to get as much of the alphabet in as you can? (Whisper it: what about four?)
Like Quordle, where you solve four puzzles at the same time (in that case with eight guesses), once you’ve got one puzzle’s word correct the grid locks off, and you can narrow your concentration. Of course, with eight times as many solutions to find, that dramatically increases your chance of also getting an awkward word in the mix, meaning you might want to adjust tactics to take that into account too. Might it be an idea to use some more obscure letters early on, to catch them as soon as possible? (Not according to these stats.)
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I feel like I’m pretty bad at it. I get fixated on solving one of the grids, to the detriment of the other seven, abandoning any notion of tactics in a mad-brained pursuit of one stinking answer. And yet, even then, I’ve completed the game successfully. Which surprises me more than anyone else. (Not today though. Missed two whole words.)
Fortunately, as with Quordle, alongside the daily game that’s the same for everyone, there are “practice” games too, that let you play as much as you want with randomly selected groups of words. (I managed one of those just now, to make myself feel better.)
Now I’m just waiting for Sexdecordle. (And Untrigintordle.)