Wordle Words – Are They Really Random?

Wordle offers an intriguing and visually appealing way to get a general idea of the topics in your text, but are they random? Wordle scores (the number above each Wordle block) range from 1 to 7, but what does that mean? The higher the score, the more important the word appears to be, so let’s take a look at some of the frequently asked questions (FAQs) to determine if the words in Wordle are random.

Does Everyone Get The Same Word On Wordle?

Wordle, Word Cloud, and Tagxedo all have algorithms that determine which words appear on a graphic, as well as their size. For example, a longer word might show up in a bigger font than a shorter one, and a more frequently used word might appear larger than an infrequently used one. Though you can’t predict exactly what your Wordle will look like, you can use certain strategies to increase your chances of having certain words show up and get bigger. First, find synonyms for commonly used words and related terms using Google AdWords or just by thinking of other ways to describe what you do.

Everyone may see different results due to slight fluctuations in how many people have used certain letters. If a letter is used very frequently (e.g., E) it will appear larger than a letter that has been used less often (e.g., Q). This could potentially mean your word appears bigger on one person’s Wordle and smaller on another’s, even though you both typed in randomly. The size of your word also seems to depend on how many times others have previously used it, as well as how many times you’ve previously used it. This may help explain why some of us get longer and more elaborate word clouds than others.

Why Is My Word Different On Wordle?

Wordles choose several relevant words from a text, but with over 2 million possible combinations, it’s not always easy to guess which word was picked. Luckily, Wordle gives you clues as to which word is more popular than others by highlighting it in red—the top most popular word. However, sometimes Wordle picks two different red words at once.

To determine whether those two selected words are synonyms (that is they mean essentially the same thing), Wordle compares those two selected synonyms to their surrounding neighbors and highlights them in green if they’re close enough. If that second selected word is highlighted in red, then you know it must be another synonym for your top-most-popular word.

So, your Wordle word will always appear differently because Wordle uses character frequencies to determine word length and order. This approach has some interesting consequences, but also some pitfalls, particularly when dealing with homographs like “the” or “and”.

Wordles start with a random word; if that word is “the”, it will not be any longer than a one-letter word because “the” appears in most English text. If you generated ten different Wordles, nine of them would have at least one “the” in them. Similarly, “and” appears even more frequently, so it’s almost guaranteed to show up somewhere in every 10 Wordles.

Where Do Wordle Words Come From?

When you generate a Wordle, your text is compared against lists of words that appear in various sources: a list from Project Gutenberg, Amazon, and (the non-fiction only) Wikipedia. The frequency of each word in those sources is then used to weight it when generating your Wordle so that frequent words appear larger and less frequent ones smaller.

So, for example, if I wrote “this”, then “is” would show up pretty large in my generated Wordle since it appears much more frequently than rarer words like olimyakon or platanoid. If I included fewer common words like “these”, they might not affect my Wordle’s overall size at all.

Are Wordle Words Getting Harder Each Day?

Before answering this question, let’s run down the common misconception people asking this question might have running on their minds:

It is no secret that the New York Times has been struggling financially in recent years. So, it comes as no surprise that they may have made the game harder to boost subscriptions“.

Well, sorry to break it to you, but that’s not the case.

Let me explain how this works:

Wordles create their word clouds by taking an entire body of text and converting each word into a 100-pixel square (and ignoring letters that don’t take up at least 1 pixel). With no attempt made to determine what is or isn’t significant, it’s certainly possible that trends will emerge as time goes on.

For example, in one Wordle, I typed in mother and father, creating two distinct cloud images. Then I ran my word generator again on both words individually but included another set of random words (i.e., son for mother, etc.). This time around, there was a noticeable difference between each respective cloud. The original clouds were now combined with other terms, making them less distinct.

The lesson here: if you want your Wordle to be unique, use only one word per day. If you want your Wordle to reflect a trend over time, use multiple words every day so they can blend more easily. However, you should note that doing the latter makes your Wordle “harder” as many people might say.

How Many Guesses Is Average For Wordle?

It turns out that it takes an average of 10,000 guesses to correctly find a Wordle word. That may seem like a lot of tries, but there’s also a 95% chance that you’ll get it right within 50 guesses. This means that for every 100 words you solve, about 99 will take 1-50 guesses to guess correctly. For those tricky ones, there is hope.  We can use math and statistics to help us narrow down our options and make better guesses. In fact, with some basic algebra and by using what we know about how Wordle works, we can make correct guesses in as few as 3-5 attempts!

Is Wordle A Skill Or Luck?

If Wordle were a game of skill, we would expect better players to score higher than average players.  So, if you and your friend play 10 games against each other and they win all 10 times, then it’s probably not a game of skill. But what if you both win 5 games each?

Is that still evidence that it’s not a game of skill? What about 3 out of 10 or 2 out of 10 or 1 out of 10? Is there some number where it becomes clear that Wordle is (or isn’t) a game of skill? It turns out that there is an elegant mathematical way to answer these questions and determine whether or not Wordle is indeed a game of skill.

Once we have that result, it will tell us something interesting about how skills work in general. In particular, when people become more skilled at a task (like playing poker), their results don’t get more extreme: their wins stay roughly even with their losses, and their luck doesn’t increase as much as you might think. And that’s good news for our argument because that means there’s no reason to believe Wordle is just luck. It must be a game of skill!

Can You Cheat At Wordle?

Short answer, yes. You might think Wordles are randomized but if you read closely at what is going on in them, you’ll see that isn’t true. The reason for that is because words can be assigned a weighting based on how common or rare it is used in your text and therefore how important it should be to show up as a significant shape inside your Wordle. But wait… doesn’t that sound like cheating? Yes, it does…because you’re manipulating how much each word shows up by increasing its weighting artificially!

What Are The Odds Of Guessing Wordle On The First Try?

Approximately 1 in 4,096 (25 hexadecimal characters = 32 bits + key). A more precise probability of guessing a specific word is 1 in 2 to the power of N-1, where N is the length of a word in bits. For a 12-bit word, that’s 1 in 212 = 4096 possible keys. For an 8-bit key, there are 256 possible choices. For a 4-bit key there are 16 options and so on. If you wanted to guess Wordle on your first try, you’d have a better chance of just walking up to someone and asking them their name than it would be if you tried guessing randomly.

It is possible to guess or create a text file that contains a word that will be included in a generated Wordle. For example, if I input I *heart* Wordles, (using *s instead of spaces) then any Wordle would contain heart as an embedded word. The more letters you use to spell out your guest word, the less likely it is to appear. If you want it to appear more than once, you need even more letters.

How Are the Words For Wordle Chosen?

When you create a Wordle, you’re asked to enter a source URL. And when it’s your turn to choose words for your Wordle, you’ll be given three options. The first choice lets you choose whether or not your words will come from all websites, just one website, or a From Your Entire List of Sources option that creates a hybrid Wordle, combining all of your sources into one (don’t worry about losing control of what’s included; once you’ve chosen where to pull from, only those sites will appear in subsequent selections). The next choice is how many words to select, and there’s an easy way to make sure no single word ends up on its own.

Are 3 Guesses Good For Wordle?

Do you think that 3 guesses are enough to find a word from a wordle? Not if it is a long word, or if there are many letters of different lengths. If a letter’s position in a word doesn’t matter (like our example above), we might be able to guess all 4 letters in just two more guesses, so 6 total guesses would be enough. If one letter matters but others don’t, 6 guesses won’t work and may lead us farther away from finding our target.

So how many guesses do we need? That depends on what types of information we have about our target word. It also depends on whether we can use any other clues besides length alone. What if instead of guessing length, we could look at each letter’s frequency?

That way, even if some letters were rarer than others, at least those rarer ones wouldn’t be as hard to guess! And what if instead of using only length information, we could combine it with frequency information for each letter? We’ll talk about these ideas later in class! For now, let’s get back to our original question: How many guesses does it take to find a word from a Wordle? The answer is…it depends!

There are websites that offer shortcuts by providing answers to the daily wordle challenges. So many people go to those websites when they get stuck.

Are Wordle Words Random? Final Thoughts

Well, to put it bluntly, yes and no. There’s nothing truly random about a Wordle. The process for creating a Wordle starts with a piece of text so, in some ways, you can say that even those randomized letters aren’t random. On the other hand, once a word is chosen for a given Wordle image (which does happen at random), all bets are off. Since each letter doesn’t have any real bearing on which others will be used, and since it would be impossible to generate a new Wordle from scratch every time someone visited your site, the results appear truly arbitrary.

Leave a Comment