The test of time though is whether or not you keep playing. Somehow a few of the ones I mentioned have become part of my daily routine.
I do enjoy a routine, and Wordle is now part of the start of my day. Most mornings I wake up around 6am. This isn’t because I want to or because my alarm goes off… my alarm is set for 7am… it is because I have become my grandfather and now wake up at 6am under pretty much all circumstances.
On waking… and probably scooching the a cat to give myself some room… I pick up my iPad off of the night stand and look at email and the morning news headlines in Flipboard. I do not look at the blog stats, but only because my iPad is from 2015 and out of support so the WordPress.com app no longer runs on it.
Anyway, the next thing I do is open up Chrome and do the five morning puzzles, which are:
The original, now owned by the New York Time. It is generally a pretty simple task judging from my stats… and remembering that I managed to solve it in be, on my iPad, at around 6am every morning.
And I think its simplicity is part of the attraction. I mentioned Quordle and Octordle previously, but I don’t think 6am me is up for that. Also, both of those really need a full monitor to play effectively, not my out of date iPad Air.
It is hard to explain why I do this one daily, as I am pretty bad at it. Somehow I managed to solve this in fewer moves than I do Wordle far too often. Every once in a while I will get a good run and get to ten or thirteen guesses before I am locked into the obvious answer. But three or four guesses are a lot more common… or feel a lot more common. The upside of the game is that it doesn’t bother keeping stats, so it is only how well I did that day.
This one is probably the most amusing. As noted previously, you get total export value and the array of goods exported and you have to guess which country or territory it is. Potshot and I toss our daily scores into a Discord channel everybody else has muted and this is probably the one we chat about most often.
Trouble spots for both of us are the Caribbean, west Africa, and the Balkans… though the Balkans are trouble for everybody historically. They all comprise areas with a lot of small countries so you can end up playing a game of guessing hopscotch, getting slightly closer but never quite arriving in your six guesses.
We have adopted a “places beginning with ‘saint'” strategy for the Caribbean, and when faced with West Africa I go for Benin or Cameroon. The Balkans though, you just have to be lucky. And even with our strategies, some days the automate system throws some genuine bullshit out way.
Still, even with the geographical foibles, I do okay with it.
Probably the most embarrassing thing is when you get repeats… because the country is picked daily by RNG so far as I can tell.. and you do worse when the same place shows up. I think we had Portugal three time in the last four weeks and I got it in 2, 3, then 5 guesses.
This has ended up being my favorite of the movie themed variations on Wordle. I like when they put up a really obscure image from a movie and I get it on the first go. Though almost equally amusing is when I managed to guess correctly for movies I have never seen.
It has a fairly deep field of movies and, as I said in my original look at it, whoever put it together does a very good job of progression with the six images, going from pretty obscure to obvious if you’ve seen it and remember it by the final pic. I feel like I do pretty well on this one, though my record is far from perfect.
If I get it in one I probably know the film, if I get it in six it is often something I’ve never seen but they’re rubbing my nose in it with the lead actors or a well known scene.
I thought this game was ridiculously hard when I started on it and could only solve it by cheating rampantly, using Wikipedia to match up blanked out title strings.
However, I have gotten better at it over time. I mean, I still cheat, just not as completely as I used to. Once I get one title from the list nailed down I am pretty good at solving it, so I have resolved not to cheat until I get at least once hit on a title. Also, trying to match the x’d out title names with Wikipedia was a pain in the ass.
Once I get a title, usually through guessing at a few actors who have been in a lot of things… Bruce Willis is a latter day Michael Caine in that regard, and Chris Evans will unlock most of your MCU titles… then I go to Wikipedia. So my record is surprisingly good because I cheat.
Still, I do get one now and then without cheating at all. Keanu Reeves came up one day and I got that on the first guess. Titles with special characters, like Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure are easy to spot.
However, the makers of Actorle have come up with a new version, Actorle.tv, which is, as the title suggests, based on TV roles rather than film roles, and that can be a lot more difficult. They pretty quickly had to put a switch on the page to show only major roles, because JFC you can guess almost any actor these days and you’ll find they’ve had a one episode appearance on The Simpsons. Still, I bang away at it. Even with profound cheating engaged I am still bad at it, in part because I don’t know as many TV actors as I do film actors it seems.
Finally, there is Heardle, which I mentioned in passing, but which has become a regular on my rotation, just not in the morning. Instead, I play this in the evening with my wife who prides herself on her music knowledge. I can get the really obvious 70s and 80s songs, but need her to get me past that.
And she doesn’t put up with losing, so if we’re on the last guess, she’ll get Shazam out on her phone to tell us what it is, so our record is completely bogus. It is also pretty short because, as the New York Times bought Wordle, so Spotify bought Heardle and, in doing so, managed to reset our stats.
My wife also has no patience for scoring and often tells me to just go out to the sixth guess, which gives the maximum amount of play. She does still get a few on the first guess, but mostly we’re there on the last guess, with Shazam helping us probably a quarter of the time.