I figured it best to take a break from writing (aka thinking) about the state of the world, even if just for a brief period of time. What better substitute than the simple little word game that has taken the world by storm, Wordle. Wordle and its friends, that is. I’m here to spread the joy. 🙂 [There’s a prize if you read all the way to the end!]
It seems that either you’re already doing Wordle – and possibly one or several of its spinoffs – or you’re afraid that if you try it’ll either be too hard or too addictive. The reality is that neither is true. It’s not too hard, although sometimes you might not get the word in the limit of 6 tries. But nobody else knows you’re doing it, so who cares?! And there’s only one new word every day, so it isn’t going to take over your life. Also, for you Facebook users, there’s no law that says that your daily score has to be posted, that’s up to you!
One of our lovely daughters-in-law started an email thread for most of our (old enough) family to use to share our scores every morning. It’s turned out to be a really nice way to start the day and to feel connected across the many miles (kms) first thing in the morning. Our grandchildren have even had a few very successful goes at it, including the 7-year old (his 5-year old brother hasn’t provided a score just yet).
For those of you who have been reluctant, it’s lots of fun. The goal is to guess the 5-letter word of the day. You choose your own starting word and then keep choosing new words based on the clues you’re given. As your guesses are “marked”, Letters returned as gray indicate that the letter is not part of the word, yellow-gold letters indicate that the letter is found in the word – at least once – but not in that position, and green indicates that the letter is in the right position (but also may occur in another position).
As an example, these were my efforts two days ago:
And when you finish the day’s word, you are reminded of your stats. Is that service or what?!
Now, if you enjoyed that, there are more word games available, including Wordle2 (6-letter words) and Quordle, which apparently gives you 4 words to solve at once.
Instead of trying those, I’ve moved to the quick(ish) but fun geography spinoffs, Globle (thanks, Adam) and Worldle (thanks, Dave). These are perfect games for people who love maps, like me. In case you fall into that category, let me give you a quick rundown on how they work.
Globle starts you off with a spinning world globe and asks you to find today’s mystery country. You start by entering any country at all (and, of course, there are a lot of them) and then seeing how close you are to the right answer. It returns the globe with the country you’ve chosen coloured according to how close you are. The paler the yellow the further away you are. The deeper the red, the closer you are. When the country turns green you’ve found the mystery country! Who knows, you might even choose the mystery country on your first guess, right, Irene?!!
Here’s the path I took during yesterday morning’s puzzle. I started with Turkey, which returned a sort of medium orange. I needed to head east, west, north or south, and unfortunately started with west. I chose Portugal next, and as you can see that was yellow, which was even further away from the answer. Then I tried going east to Nepal (which you can barely see on the far right of this map) and it was very pale yellow. Not good. So I headed south of Turkey, to Yemen. That wasn’t much darker orange, but it seemed to be in the right direction. So I tried Ethiopia (red), then Congo (deeper red), Central African Republic (same deeper red), and finally Democratic Republic of Congo. Lo and behold, DRC was green! That was a hard one. I’m learning lots about where countries are!
Worldle is another approach to maps altogether. Believe it or not, every day you’re presented with a silhouette of a country. That’s all! It’s exactly the right shape and with the exact positioning you’d find it on a map. But of course, you have no idea of its relative size. There have been times when I knew precisely what country it was right away and other times when I had never even heard of the country. When you enter your guess, Worldle gives you back what distance you are from the correct answer and what direction you need to move in to identify the country. The hardest one I’ve encountered so far was a silhouette that was completely hollow/empty in its middle. It only had the narrowest of solid shape around the outside. It was clearly an atoll, but finding which one it was took lots of detective work. Here is yesterday’s country, as an example:
If none of these simple but engaging games strike you as a good way to start your day, then I’m sure you can find other spinoffs. Do you have a favourite one I should try?
In case you feel cheated to have read this far and not enjoyed any of my geography lessons, here’s a little completely unrelated humour that hopefully will leave you with a chuckle (thanks, Marilyn).