What's the best first guess in wordle? Did some quick analysis on the hardcoded lists
- Word with the highest likelihood of each independent letter being correct: "slate"
- Word that rules out the most incorrect words: "canoe"

"slate" is good because it has a bunch of common letters in the places they're most frequently found, (left image is counts of letters in each position). Almost all of the best words by this measure start with "s" and end with "e" ("y" is also overwhelmingly common at the end)

"canoe" is good because it has three vowels, with the relatively uncommon "c" in its most common position, and "e" in its most common position. This gives you a lot of information about what vowels are in (or not in) a word. It has a median reduction of ~90% of incorrect words.

oh ya also ty to @qntm@twitter.com for spotting that the lists were hardcoded in the source, they've made a v twisty adversarial version i can't quite wrap my head around the strategy for twitter.com/qntm/status/147998

the game works sort of like how the entropy reduction calculation here works, selects a random correct word after each guess from the list of possible remaining words, given the preceding guesses and correct words. Using the maximally entropy-reducing words works, but then...?

in another life I would be a morphologist. wondering how those patterns of letter frequency depend on word length. how much more entropy 6 letters has (eg. do constraints on morphemes relax and open more of the relative combinatoric space of letter combinations, or less?)


also the words in the game from what I understand are a p arbitrary subset of words based on how recognizable the devs thought they were, wonder how much that influences the information available in a given guess

Sign in to participate in the conversation

The social network of the future: No ads, no corporate surveillance, ethical design, and decentralization! Own your data with Mastodon!