Wordle’s Prototype Word List Contains Extremely Obscure Words

Wordle's Prototype Word List Contains Extremely Obscure Words

Wordle tasks players with guessing a commonplace five-letter word, but the web-based puzzle once featured incredibly advanced and bizarre solutions.

While Wordle offers a challenge to even the most studied linguists, the game’s word list once included even more obscure words. The web-based puzzle tasks players with deducing a five-letter word through trial and error, with a new solution offered every day. While there have been many difficult words in Wordle since the title launched in October 2021, there are some five-letter English words that were deemed too difficult for the game.

While software engineer Josh Wardle created and released Wordle in 2021, the creative puzzle was purchased by The New York Times at the beginning of 2022. The objective of the game is to guess a five-letter word in only six tries, with each incorrect guess telling players which letters were correct and whether they were in the right position. The web-based title presents just one solution per day, and the solution is the same for every player. This has transformed Wordle into a social experience, leading to scenarios like Pokimane’s Wordle fail on Twitch where spectators already know the solution.


Related: Wordle Archive Gets Shut Down At Request of New York Times

Wordle’s five-letter solutions offer a challenge to players, but Axios writer and Twitter user Stephen Totilo reports that the game could have been substantially harder. Creator Josh Wardle recently spoke at San Francisco’s Game Developers Conference, and he detailed an early version of the game created in 2013. While Wordle’s user interface was largely the same, the game’s list of solutions originally included extremely esoteric five-letter words like “yrneh” and “bwazi.” A report from Kotaku reveals that the list of solutions was eventually narrowed down by Wardle’s partner, who categorized an entire dictionary of words by obscurity.

Josh Wardle’s pre-Wordle Wordle, from 2013. Let you play continuously. Included many more words, including lots of esoteric one people don’t really know. pic.twitter.com/T5SoU667dC

— Stephen Totilo (@stephentotilo) March 24, 2022

Wordle can be a challenge even without words like “rozit” and emyds,” but one clever player has found a way to easily solve the puzzle. In February the talented Reddit user unveiled a 3D printer robot that can solve Wordle, though the process of building such as machine was apparently very complicated. The build reportedly combines the user interface of the Duet RepRap V3 printer with the image processing software of the RaspberryPi computer, allowing the robot to read a phone screen. The result is a 3D printer that can process the Wordle UI, generate optimum guesses and automatically input them.

Thanks to the web-based puzzle’s simple objective and social aspect, Wordle has become a pop culture sensation. An essential part of the game’s appeal is that its solutions are typical words, allowing almost anybody to pick up a phone and try it for themselves. Unusual words like “dawts” would have made Wordle incredibly niche, and so Josh Wardle wisely narrowed down the list of potential solutions.

Next: The Psychology of Wordle: Why Knowing It’s “Hard” Makes It Easier

Sources: Stephen Totilo/Twitter, Kotaku

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Thomas McNulty
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Thomas McNulty is an avid reader, writer, game player and movie watcher from New Jersey. Movies, TV shows, video games, books and pop culture are personal passions, and he is thrilled to be writing about those topics that are so near and dear. If someone has a story to tell, they should be able to tell it. He is committed to delivering accuracy with every article and staying true to his voice.

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