By your very endorsement of this fine paper, I can tell that you are almost certainly a keen Wordler already. But for the benefit of those who have yet to climb aboard this particular bandwagon: Wordle is a simple online word-guessing game invented by (and named after) software developer Josh Wardle in October last year. It was initially designed purely for the entertainment of Mr Wardle and his girlfriend, but once online, the cunningly rationed one-a-day puzzle became such a viral smash that last week, the New York Times purchased the rights for an undisclosed seven-figure sum.
As Mr Wardle goes to enjoy his unexpectedly early and comfortable retirement, there are, of course, many rival puzzles springing up all over the web. There’s the arithmetic-based Nerdle, the profanity-based Sweardle and the truly mind-bending solve-four-Wordles-at-once variant, Quordle. So what further Wordle variants should we expect to see as our country descends further into turmoil?
Players are presented with a list of the current government’s failures, scandals and general shortcomings and have six attempts to explain why it’s all the Remainers’ fault. Winners are immediately offered the post of Downing Street director of communications, which is probably why no one has ever entered this competition.
Players take six bottles of milk and leave them on the kitchen counter for a whole day with the central heating switched on.
Only to be played during periods of lockdown: Exactly the same as Wordle, except played in groups of around 30 while drinking champagne with tinsel round your head and the official photographer strolling around the room snapping away, because it’s not like anybody REALLY cares, is it? Is it?
In this new one-game-a-week variant, players have to go seven days without seeing or hearing anything from Nigel Farage (surprisingly tricky).
Players of Slurredle have to appear on BBC Breakfast News by means of an unflattering Zoom link and explain in six questions or fewer why the prime minister has not resigned yet, all while visibly hungover (NB Just replying to every question with “Why are you asking that?” is not allowed).
In this rather more energetic variation, players have to run as fast as they can over a distance of between 100 and 400 metres while jumping over one-metre-high, fence-like obstacles (Fairly sure this one’s been done – Ed)
In this version, players must take to social media on a regular basis to pour scorn on the Twittersphere’s propensity for flock-like devotion to prevailing trends and memes, all the while secretly playing Wordle every day and obsessively comparing their scores with those their friends post online (while never posting their own, of course).
Just for Conservative politicians, this one: Players have to commit six criminal offences of increasing graveness to see at what point the Metropolitan Police decide it’s worth taking an interest (no one has ever won this).
Each player takes it in turns to hide behind a screen while the other players try to guess which obscure medieval musical instrument he’s trying to play.
Wordle, except you can’t be bothered just now so you put it off till tomorrow. Or the next day. Or whenever.
A new game that nobody has ever actually played, or even seen, but absolutely everyone is talking about. Apparently it’s AMAZING.
Wordle, except literally everyone HAS to play. Everyone in the world. All at the same time. NO EXCEPTIONS.
STRONG AND STURDLE
Players take it in turns to compare Tory party election slogans from the last 12 years and contrast them with how things actually turned out. The winner is the first one to stop crying.
Strictly for the hardcore Wordlers; it’s a 120-character sentence, in a different language every day, with a maximum of 6,000 guesses allowed. Come on, you’re nearly there! You’ve only been playing for nine hours, you lightweight! Still, 2,000 guesses to go and 83 blanks to fill in! Don’t give up now! NEVER GIVE UP…
POEM OF THE WEEK
I’m here to pass wry comment
On the week’s events, it’s true
But when the actual headline is “Dick’s Out”
What am I supposed to do?
I write topical gags for this paper
And also the radio
But when the real news says “Dick Out At Last”
I’ve got no place left to go.
It makes it all too easy
This news-based satire game
When such a prominent person
Has such an unfortunate name.
So “Sadiq Khan Gets Dick Out”
Can’t be funnied up at all
I wonder who’ll replace her?
I just hope it’s not Ed Balls.