Countdown’s Queen of Dictionary Corner Susie Dent has had her say on Wordle, blessing us with her top tips for the word game that’s got everyone hooked.
Despite previously insisting she’s not that great at the daily game, which gives users six chances to work out a five-letter word, we have plenty of faith in Susie to help us out.
After Richard Osman revealed his strategy, Susie admitted she ‘tries not to be too tactical’.
‘Sometimes I’m fairly systematic in that I will go with an opening word that has a lot of vowels,’ she explained to Metro.co.uk. ‘I know that’s what a lot of people like to do. But vowels for me alone, don’t really do it. So, if I got sort an “o” and an “e” in there, depending on their position, it doesn’t always make it more straightforward.
‘So I tend to just dive in, to be honest, with an opening word, and the joy for me is then trying to crack the code.’
As for what letters to include in your opening word, Susie said you could base it on letter frequency.
‘The letter “e” is the most frequently used word in the English language. You’ve also got “t” and “r” and “m”. I think the most common letters at the beginning of words are “t”, “w”, “d”, “a”, and “o”.
‘If you want to be systematic about it, that’s a good place to start.’
Susie pointed out that different people will envision words in different ways so, while starting with a vowel-heavy word (like ‘audio’ or ‘adieu’) could work for some, it might be useless to others.
How about any big mistakes to avoid?
‘The most obvious mistake, and I have made this one myself, is to repeat a letter quite early on, which is obviously slowing things down a little bit,’ she pointed out.
‘Because if that letter is not in, you’ve lost a move.’
‘Don’t be too quick,’ she advised. ‘Just pay attention to the ones that you know, or that you have been told aren’t there. So don’t repeat those again!’
The letters game is the latest viral sensation taking the world by storm, keeping us humble and somehow making every five-letter word vanish from our brains.
Made by Brooklyn-based Josh Wardle as a pandemic distraction for him and his girlfriend to play, there are now millions of players around the world trying their hand out at the puzzle every day.
Meanwhile, Susie is continuing her reign as the dictionary queen on her tour, The Secret Lives Of Words.
‘As you would expect, I’m talking about words, but in all their guises,’ she explained.
‘So it’s very light hearted. I give my greatest hits when it comes to etymology. So my favourite origins, my favourite words, and my least favourite words. I kind of split the show into two halves- the things I love and that most people love, etymologies, beautiful words, funny sayings, mistakes, things that make us laugh.
‘And then in the second half, I tackle the things that people love to hate, like their least favourite words, or Americanisms. ‘
‘It’s so nice, because the people that come are clearly equally passionate about words,’ she pointed out. ‘And we just have a lot of fun. I have some silly videos from some of my comedian friends who are asking me about various bits. I do a brief history of swearing as well.
‘I was expecting to love it, but not quite as much as I do, purely because the audiences are so involved and great. And I do a little word surgery at the end where they can ask me anything. It’s a lot of fun.’
Tickets for Susie’s tour are available to buy here.