• Deborah Yaffe

Thin gruel

Early last Tuesday morning, I opened up my phone to Wordle, the now-famous daily word-finding puzzle, and typed my usual starting guess: LOVER.


A few minutes and three more guesses later, I had the answer – the seventy-seventh consecutive time I had guessed Wordle’s mystery five-letter word within the permitted six turns. A four-guess day is decidedly average in the Wordleverse, but I’ll take my microscopic self-esteem boosts where I can get them.

Greeting card, purchased c. 2012

Then later in the afternoon, I ran across a former high school teacher of mine complaining to her Facebook friends about the solution, which she had found only in a suboptimal five guesses. “When was the last time you used THIS word??” she asked.


“So rarely used,” agreed a commenter.


A similar refrain could be heard on the 72,000-member Wordle Daily Game Facebook group.


“Never used this word in 66 years,” said one person.


“It’s not a word I ever use!” noted another.


“I had to look up what the word meant! haha!” claimed a third.


And all I could think was: Good grief! Hasn’t anyone around here ever read Emma?

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