It’s a Wordle, It’s a Bee, It’s a Volplane?

HANK PHILLIPPI RYAN: Here is one of my proudest moments in the past couple of weeks. I found every word contained a THE SPELLING BEE wheel of seven letters. Including two words – – pangrams – – that contain all seven letters

Tiny victories.

I have also discovered Wordle. Have you? It’s a on-line word game that looks like this at the beginning.

And the goal is to figure out what the five letter “Wordle” is by trying out five letter words, and then the software tells you whether you have put a correct letter in the correct place, or a correct letter in the wrong place, or chosen a letter that is not in the word at all.

Then, knowing that, you try again. And you get six tries to find the Wordle. I did not do too well on this one, below. Usually I can it in three or four.

But you can see my train of thought, right?

(Once, just once, I did it in two. But that was just lucky.)

There are lots of hints and clues flying around online, secrets to how to “win,” but I never read them because--figuring it out for yourself is the fun part.

And the New York Times Sunday Magazine SPELLING BEE– – that is the first thing I do on Sunday morning. I I cannot proceed with my day until I figure out the word. You have to find all the five-or-more-letter words, all including the middle letter. AND a seven letter word using all the letters. I am addicted to it.

Do you play any of these games? Or others? Do you embrace them, or are you frustrated with yourself for taking the time?

HALLIE EPHRON: I do! I do! My favorite is SPELLING BEE on the New York Times. I also play TILES. Their MINI CROSSWORD. And the regular crossword in the Boston Globe.

I also play bridge online with my sister and her husband and a friend. We having a group phone call while we play which makes it ALMOST like real life.

I know I’d love WORDLE but I am wary of adding yet another time dawdler to my repertoire.

JENN: Hallie, the nice thing about Wordle is that it is only one puzzle once a day and no ads and so far the creator is insistent that it stay that way. I love Wordle! My best is solving it in three.

I play Wordscape (an app) on my phone. Six letters and you have to make as many words as you can out of them. Fun! It’s what I do on planes while waiting to take off. I used to do the crossword every day but not lately as it takes too long. But I am going to check out NYT Spelling Bee - that seems like my kind of thing! I love word games. Plus, they’re supposed to help fight off dementia. So, they’re medicine :)

HANK: Yes, Jenn, isn’t it brilliant how it’s once a day? And Hallie, indeed, you would love it.

RHYS BOWEN: I finally succumbed to Wordless yesterday. Got the first two on the third try. I think they will be easy for me as we do Codewords from the British Daily Telegraph. It’s a blank crossword. They give you two letters corresponding to numbers and you have to fill in the whole crossword from that. Same strategy really.

I also play online Scrabble every day against the computer whom I call Ivan because he’s so terrible. He used words I’ve never heard of and also things like gurrrl and hmm which are absolutely cheating. Even so I beat him quite often. Very satisfying

LUCY BURDETTE: Yes, I’m addicted to Wordle too. Once I won in three tries, but usually much harder. And the spelling bee as well–I use the hints liberally to keep me going so I don’t give up. We used to love playing Boggle, so I bet I would like wordscape as well. Must keep those brain cells flickering…

JULIA SPENCER-FLEMING: I see Wordle everywhere and I haven’t tried it yet, because I’m afraid I’ll become an addict. I’m super old school when it comes to word puzzles - I do the New York Times Sunday crossword. In ink, because I’m a badass, oh, yeah. My kids get me the book collections, and some of the collected puzzles date back to the seventies, so my personal knowledge of ancient culture is a plus.

Online games - I’m Majhong Solitare all the way. The Washington Post has a nice version - you don’t play against anyone, but there is a leaderboard to get the competitive juices flowing.

DEBORAH CROMBIE: I see Wordle everywhere but haven’t tried it yet. I do the crossword but not regularly, and I’ve never tried the NYT Spelling Bee but I’m going to check that one out! Right now my brain is in deadline mode and I don’t really want to be distracted.

I am, however, addicted to online Trivia. I get Word Genius and Trivia Genius quizzes and I cannot resist them. I’m sure my vocabulary would be enormous if I could just remember all the weird new words I learn!

HANK: I got a word-of-the-day calendar, and every day, Jonathan and I take turns quizzing each other. Volplane, Catachresis, Nuncupative. And he just did his first Wordle. Which he got in 4.

How about you, Reds and readers?