How Computer Science Created a Perfect Wordle Robot

Wordle+is+a+word+game+much+like+a+crossword+puzzle%2C+but+it+involves+guessing+letters+in+a+5-letter+word+rather+than+searching+for+words+in+a+puzzle.

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Wordle is a word game much like a crossword puzzle, but it involves guessing letters in a 5-letter word rather than searching for words in a puzzle.

Nobody in this world hasn’t heard of Wordle yet. The simple word game, similar to Hangman, has taken the world by storm. A combination of short play-time, somewhat challenging gameplay, and trying to stretch one’s knowledge of 5-letter-words makes for a very great daily routine. However, like every game, people get addicted. Wordle Unlimited, Word Guessr, and even variations of the game, like Nerdle, have been created to scratch the itch of players, as all of these games don’t have a cooldown and can be done unlimited times. However, some people took this light-hearted game very seriously. In fact, they were able to turn Wordle into a complex information theory math problem and, along the way, created a perfect Wordle robot.

 

But how was this robot created, and how could it even work? Well, the creator, a Youtuber by the name of “3Blue1Brown”, described it in a video of his, and here is the full process: The bot first uses a starting word, which will be shown later. Next, the bot takes in the information it gets from that word (how many grays, the place of the yellows, etc.) and does complex calculations using information theory to find the most optimal next word that has the highest percentage of yielding the most information. By doing this process over and over again, the bot will always guess the word in around 3 or 4 guesses, and very occasionally 5. And while it is a good strategy, humans are unfortunately not able to do this, as not only would they have to have a knowledge of every single five-letter word in the English language at once, but they also have to do millions of calculations per second. Furthermore, this bot can not be used as it is private and not open-source, meaning that only 3Blue1Brown has access to it in the first place.

 

So if the Wordle bot can’t help anyone except him, then why is it even important or talked about? Firstly, since 3Blue1Brown was the first one to pull it off successfully, he sparked off a chain of people who created their own Wordle bots that ARE open-source. And since he described the full way he coded it in the video, anyone with some knowledge of Python would be able to make one themselves. Secondly, a lot of people got controversial about the bot, saying that it ruined the fun and challenge of the game and was cheating. The whole point of Wordle was to try to get the lowest score possible, and just like hacking in any game, it starts off fun, but the longer one plays, the more boring it becomes. However, whether or not it is ethical, the robot did come up with some amazing results. Here they are:

 

BEST STARTING WORD: SALET

Salet is the best possible starting word. With two vowels and three very common consonants, it gives a lot of information right off the bat. However, since 95% of people reading this article have no idea what a salet is (an alternate spelling of sallet, which is a helmet worn by knights), just know that crate, trace, and slate were all very close behind in score.

 

WORST STARTING WORD: XYLYL

Xylyl is self-explanatory: it contains two of the least used consonants, and two double letters. It would be lucky to get a single yellow with this word, let alone a green. The word means “a radical derived from the xylenes of a hydrogen atom.”

 

BEST SECOND WORD: ROUND

After starting with salet, round is the next logical choice. It uses none of the same letters as salet has two vowels and two more common consonants. However, the D, being less frequent, adds a high risk/high reward status to the word.

 

Wordle is not a game meant to be optimized like this, but it is a fun problem to solve. At the end of the day, it’s just a word game in the sea of the internet, and if one wants to use a bot to find the answer, then they can go right ahead.