standard logo    Personal Education


a five-letter-word challenge

Update 2022-08-03: Wordle is now owned by the New York Times who purchased the game from its creator in January 2022. Settings you have selected and game statistics transfer to the Times site.

Wordle is an online five-letter-word guessing game/puzzle that has caught the attention of people on social media like Mastodon and Twitter because after each game, you get the option to share your results. Just below is the puzzle I worked on Wednesday January 12, 2022.

Wordle 207 5/6


The Unicode representation shows I got the right word in five tries.

The first word is always a wild guess and, while I'm playing, the game's feedback colors tell me how I am doing. After each guess I get feedback about each letter in the word. With "BEGIN" I didn't do so well.


With each new word I try, I get more feedback. With luck, using the clues, I'll figure out the right word before six wrong guesses.


The creator, Josh Wardle, has stated he just wants people to have fun, so the site uses no tracking and has no ads, just the challenge. You only get one puzzle a day and can only play through once, but there is no time limit while you ponder your guesses. You could work on the puzzle for a full twenty-four hours, I suppose.

wordle cookies

There are cookies involved because you have a personal statistics record accessible using the graph button.



The gear icon has a few game options to check including a dark theme which changes the appearance and also the share colors.

Wordle 208 4/6


I hope you'll have great success and get hooked like me.

Sorry, I do not know how to interpret the cookies stored on my computer by Wordle.
my wordle cookies

While Wordle gives you only one puzzle a day, there are alternative sites with options for a random word. One such is: but it does not offer a share button to use when boasting on social media. What's the fun in that?


Just this morning, I was alerted to a French version called SUTOM.

Sutom (French) sutom text

¡Ay mis amigos! Another version, this time Spanish.

Spanish Wordle

UPDATE 2022-01-14: The next to show up is for Portuguese, called TERMO

Portuguese Wordle

Update 2022-01-26: A Japanese version -

Update 2022-01-29: an equation version called Nerdle
nerdle rules

Update 2022-02-03: BASH version by Github user huytd - in development



This version uses the built-in Ubuntu wordlist, which also contains capitalized names. In the gist, other word lists are suggested in the comments. There is some concern expressed about linking out to an Internet-hosted word list.

If you feel comfortable at the command line, you can modify the script using your favorite text editor. One easy change is to change the value of max_guess to something other than the standard six tries. Note, too that you can run the script with the modified command ./ unlimit to give yourself 999,999 guesses!

words=($(grep '^\w\w\w\w\w$' /usr/share/dict/words | tr '[a-z]' '[A-Z]'))
actual=${words[$[$RANDOM % ${#words[@]}]]} end=false guess_count=0 max_guess=6
if [[ $1 == "unlimit" ]]; then
while [[ $end != true ]]; do
    guess_count=$(( $guess_count + 1 ))
    if [[ $guess_count -le $max_guess ]]; then
        echo "Enter your guess ($guess_count / $max_guess):"
        read guess
        guess=$(echo $guess | tr '[a-z]' '[A-Z]')
        if [[ " ${words[*]} " =~ " $guess " ]]; then
            output="" remaining=""
            if [[ $actual == $guess ]]; then
                echo "You guessed right!"
                for ((i = 0; i < ${#actual}; i++)); do
                    output+="\033[30;102m ${guess:$i:1} \033[0m"
                printf "$output\n"
                for ((i = 0; i < ${#actual}; i++)); do
                    if [[ "${actual:$i:1}" != "${guess:$i:1}" ]]; then
                for ((i = 0; i < ${#actual}; i++)); do
                    if [[ "${actual:$i:1}" != "${guess:$i:1}" ]]; then
                        if [[ "$remaining" == *"${guess:$i:1}"* ]]; then
                            output+="\033[30;103m ${guess:$i:1} \033[0m"
                            output+="\033[30;107m ${guess:$i:1} \033[0m"
                        output+="\033[30;102m ${guess:$i:1} \033[0m"
                printf "$output\n"
            echo "Please enter a valid word with 5 letters!";
            guess_count=$(( $guess_count - 1 ))
        echo "You lose! The word is:"
        echo $actual

I downloaded this version of the script, saved it as and made it executable. From there, You follow the standard program launch procedure. Go to the folder/directory where you saved the shell script and execute it with the command ./ (Do these steps only if you feel comfortable using the command line).

Enter your guess (1 / 6):
 B  E  G  I  N 
Enter your guess (2 / 6):
Please enter a valid word with 5 letters!
Enter your guess (2 / 6):
 A  N  G  L  E 
Enter your guess (3 / 6):
 A  N  G  R  Y 
Enter your guess (4 / 6):
 A  N  G  E  L 
Enter your guess (5 / 6):
You guessed right!
 A  N  G  U  S 

One plus about this version is that it is self-contained and runs entirely on one's personal GNU/Linux computer. It isn't so visual as the Web versions, but that might make it more accessible, too. The shared experience isn't there, either. Each run of the program chooses a target word at random. Two people probably will not get the same word to guess. There is also no simple way to share your guesses. That sharing, along with the remote head-to-head competition, is one of the most compelling reasons for the Web version's success.

Do not click the blue button below unless you are willing to know about one of the improper ways to boost your Wordle success.

Update 2022-02-06: Someone called "qntm" has devised a more difficult, adversarial algorithm game like wordle, calling it Absurdle in which the computer doesn't give necessarily helpful clues. The game allows many more guesses.

Copyright 2022 Algot Runeman, licensed for wide reuse with the Creative Commons Attribution license. Feel free to use, remix and repurpose this information. All I ask is that you acknowledge the author and the source shown below when you reuse it.