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Andy Prest: This nerdy word game is holding us all together right now

Go ahead and share your Wordle scores with the world
Wordle is a fun little word game that is making a big impression thanks to the way users from around the world are playing together and sharing their scores.

There’s a five-letter word that is not going to appear in this entire article, because we’re having fun.

You know the word. Actually, it might not even be a real word, more of an acronym. Here it is, in partial form: _ _ V _ D

There’s also a C in there somewhere, but that’s all I’m going to tell you. Can you guess the word? If you can, good for you! But don’t say it out loud. It’s a bummer.

It’s a word that has changed the way we live in many ways, most of them bad. Here, let me give you another five-letter word, so we can move on: _ _ R E D

Hmmm. That’s tricky. That could be lots of things. What about BORED? It could be bored, and that’s certainly an apt word for what life has been like much of the time for many people over the last couple of years.

Or wait, that could be TIRED as well, right? I mean … aren’t we all so very, very tired, of all of this?

So let’s change the mood as I give you another word, and explain what is going on here, for those who haven’t yet clued in. What’s this word of the day? _ A _ _ Y

And let’s give you one more clue: there’s a P in this one.

What is it? Wait, really? Could it be? Pasty? Well, that is the perfect description of my skin these days in this winter of discontent, but no, that’s not it. What if I told you you could use double letters. Would that make you … HAPPY?

LOL, seriously. In these dark times, there is something bringing a bit of joy and happiness to people around the world. And would you believe that it’s a simple little word game?

Wordle is the name of the game, and I know for certain many of you reading this are already playing it. How do I know? Because I see you posting your little Wordle scores on Twitter every day, and it brings me great joy to see cool people, smart people, people I respect, enjoying the same nerdy little word game that I’m enjoying at the same time that I’m enjoying it.

Here are a few more details, for those of you still wondering what the heck I’m talking about. Wordle is a free online game where you have six tries to guess a five-letter word. Each guess gives you information you can use to improve your next guess. Letters in the correct spot are coloured green, letters that appear in the word but are in the wrong spot are yellow, and letters that do not appear in the word are grey.

If you follow the clues and guess the right word – and it’s usually not too hard to figure it out – you get a bouncing green line and a little comment on your performance. “Splendid!” Or maybe you get stumped! That’s OK too. Win or lose, you’re done for the day – a new Wordle appears at exactly midnight, local time, the next day.

Here’s a really good word: S H _ _ E

What’s the best thing about Wordle? It’s something everyone can SHARE. There’s only one word per day, and it’s the same for everyone. My wife does it. My brother does it. Heck, my kid does it on his school iPad (don’t tell his teacher, OK?). Piers Morgan hates it, which is also a huge plus.

We’re all working out the same little puzzle. There’s even a cute little internet shorthand that lets you share your results with everyone without spoiling the answers – no letters, just little colour-coded squares.

And while the sharing is one of the best things about the whole thing, (second is that the inventor of the game is named Josh Wardle, and that’s adorable), the sharing is also the worst thing, for people not playing along. They hate it when everyone posts their silly little Wordle boxes, makes a big fuss over the day’s word (can you believe they used American spelling?!).

They say it’s the latest pandemic fad, like Tiger King, or sourdough, or our stupid little walks, or cheugy, or quietly sobbing in the grocery store. Here’s a word for the complainers: G _ U M _

I get it – the Wordle nerds are overwhelming. It could get annoying, if you let it. You can be a GRUMP about it.

But then again, you can let them have their fun. Let them enjoy it. Or even try it yourself! In a world in which four-letter words are the parlance of our time, it’s fun to join in and puzzle over these five-letter mysteries. Here’s one more: E _ J O Y

You know the answer.