Wordle Is A Thing, But I Better Not

by Kevin Burton

   There’s a new game, it’s a craze actually, called Wordle.

   You have heard of it no doubt. Two of my favorite bloggers wrote about Wordle on back to back days this week. That qualifies it as a craze for me, I don’t get out much.

   Here’s an explanation of Wordle from Wikipedia:

   “Wordle is a web-based word game created and developed by Welsh software engineer Josh Wardle, and owned and published by The New York Times Company. Players have six attempts to guess a five-letter word, with feedback given for each guess in the form of colored tiles indicating when letters match or occupy the correct position.”

   “The mechanics are nearly identical to the 1955 pen and paper game Jotto and the television game show Lingo. Wordle has a single daily solution, with all players attempting to guess the same word.”

   As you know, I am an unabashed word-slinger of long standing.  Scrabble is a blood sport to me. You think I’m exaggerating? Play me.

   If I can’t solve a particular puzzle, I’ve been known to tear out and save the jumble column in the newspaper until the pages turn ever darkening shades of yellow and I turn ever-darkening shades of red.

   Words, word games? Give me a longish minute, say a long red light. I pass the time by taking whatever sign I see and turning it into a radio station. How? 

   Take the company name, eliminate all the letters that are repeated, use what’s left as the call letters of the make-believe radio station…

   For example, I see a Dollar General sign. The words dollar general repeat L, A, R and E leaving you D, O, G and N to work with. Supply your own K or W depending on which half of the country you live in and there you have it. KDOG, dog radio. All dogs, all the time, 900 on your AM dial.  That’s K-9, get it? 

   This quite possibly ushers me to the very front of the nerd line, I understand. I spelled the whole thing out and put my name at the top of it. Wow!

   But that’s how my mind works on words and letters, almost constantly. Letters and words don’t sit long. They move, jump through hoops, do my bidding.

   Consider: if a friend mentions a local baseball team which has an unbelievably stupid, stupid name, such as the Wichita “Wind Surge” for example, I immediately try to think of a better name for the team using the letters in Wind Surge. 

  My favorite new team name: the Underwigs!

  You could have the Ugwinders (I googled that to make sure “ugwinder” wasn’t some offensive slang I was not familiar with).

  You could also have the Winedrugs, which is what you would need to be on to come up with Wind Surge as a name for an otherwise respectable baseball club.

   How about Wudingers since dinger is one of the slang names for a home run? 

   I even have something left over, “Swinedrug,” an excellent name for a rock band.

   You can probably think of more, and I could too if I would allow myself to continue sitting here, pushing the letters around, giggling to myself, getting nothing accomplished.

   I have even turned my own name into “verb noun kit” and “bovine trunk” which is another good band name.

  As you can see I am easily entertained, distracted, enticed down the rabbit hole.  Better not get started on this Wordle thing. That could be bad.

   One blogger called Wordle “beguiling,” saying “I have been addicted to it since I stumbled upon it a couple of months ago.”

   That’s why I am steering clear.

   There was a time when I was playing online euchre and literati, a version of scrabble, just about non-stop on Yahoo games.

   People used to accuse me of cheating at literati because my record was ridiculously good.  Truth was I played a lot of literati with a friend who wasn’t very good at it, mainly for the purpose of spending time with her. That drove up my score as I fueled my word obsession.

   Also, I famously acquired a seasonal obsession, fantasy football, last fall.  So I can’t afford to sniff around Wordle too much. I will check into it sometime but I don’t have room for any more obsessions just now.

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