Abbey's Road: Bonding over Wordle

Wordle is an online word game in which players try to guess the word in six tries. There's no app to download, no in-app purchases, and the game only offers one word per day.
Wordle is an online word game in which players try to guess the word in six tries. There's no app to download, no in-app purchases, and the game only offers one word per day.

I think we can all agree it’s been a while since the human race was able to agree on anything.

Pop or soda? Hamburger or hot dog? Country or rock? How to pronounce the latest COVID variant?

And those all score abysmally low on the Conversation Topic Volatility Scale compared to [insert inflammatory 2020-21 topic here].

But after a particularly rough stretch the last couple years, it’s nice to know that most of us are on board with a trend that’s bound to inspire the best in humanity, whether they blast Garth Brooks from a pick-up truck on a sunny dirt road or head-bang to Led Zeppelin behind closed office doors in between committee meetings.

That trend, friends, is a little game called Wordle.

If you still have a rotary phone and do crosswords in the print version of the newspaper, I’m here to get you up to speed. Wordle is a daily online word game wherein the user has six chances to guess a five-letter word.

Each new day brings one — and only one! — new word, five blank boxes brimming with possibility.

Abbey Roy
Abbey Roy

If you get a letter right but in the wrong position, it turns yellow. If you get it right and in the correct position, it turns green. Otherwise, a particularly defeating shade of gray.

Normally I’m not one to get caught up in gaming fads. I vastly prefer scrolling through photos from an elementary school acquaintance’s great-grandma’s 95th birthday party (here’s looking at you, Facebook!).

But word games are my jam, and when a word game begins making headlines, how could I NOT be on board?

I was introduced by a friend from out of town who texted me out of the blue a few weeks ago:

“Have you ever played Wordle? I think you should try it. You’d like it. Definitely try it today.”

Fortunately at that moment, my laundry did not feel like being folded, so I decided to have a go.

In six guesses, I solved the puzzle, whose answer that day happened to be my first name. I haven’t looked back since.

Why have we embraced this simple word game, which can only be played once in a day and was recently purchased by the New York Times for “the low seven figures”?

Good question.

I think because it spans a variety of interests and ability levels: It’s a puzzle, but not math-y. It’s wordy, but not Elite Linguist-wordy. There’s a little bit of luck involved. And we can do post-game debriefings with our friends and spouses:

“Well, I SHOULD have guessed ‘camel,’ but I figured there was more likely to be an ‘n’ than a ‘c,’ so of COURSE I guessed ‘navel.’ So what did you use as your first word?” …and so forth.

Every day Mr. Roy sends me his score, which shows up as a series of blank squares so the answer isn’t spoiled. His explainer text for Wordle 228, for example — a word that, for whatever reason, some people find repulsive — was: “Took a circuitous route and had a dumb word for number 4.”

You know what? I love these post-Wordle debriefs. I love that this crazy little word game has united members of the human race, despite our gripes and complaints, in a common zeal for solving puzzles and has provided us with a chance to escape, if only for 5 minutes, from the heavy things of the world.

In its simplicity, quirky little Wordle has reminded us of the thrill of a good challenge without the weight of addiction (only one a day!). It keeps us on our toes and makes for a great conversation topic.

And usually, it’s just plain fun.

Of course I realize that not everyone feels this way. But they should.

So what are you waiting for? Five letters. Six chances. Good luck!

Abbey Roy is a mom of three girls who make every day an adventure. She writes to maintain her sanity. You can probably reach her at, but responses are structured around bedtimes and weekends.

This article originally appeared on Newark Advocate: Abbey's Road: Bonding over Wordle