Wordle Has a Hard Mode (and it’s more fun)

A quick follow-up to my post last week, “Why to Beat Wordle, or, How Information Theorists are No Fun At Parties,” which treats Wordle as an information theory problem. However, the analysis was incomplete, because I was unaware that Wordle has a Hard Mode. So, without a lot of preamble, because I wrote a Very Long Preamble last week, here’s the summary of the ideal average guesses for Wordle:

Fair Cheaty
Normal 3.8 3.49
Hard 4.37 3.64

So hard mode is for sure more fun; even with a good heuristic it takes some thinking to find the solution.


So most of my original post can be – uh, enjoyed? – well, anyway, it can be read without spoiling the game. This one, not so much; everything below is pure spoiler.


I’ve found I can use the same basic heuristic as described in the last post and I’ve done pretty well; I still start with TREAD, and then try to use as many letters from LIONS and CHUMP to construct the subsequent guesses. I’m still averaging around four, but it’s a pretty small sample – I actually got it in two today, which ironically I probably wouldn’t have on easy mode.

However, and this is totally spoiling and absolutely cheating: my son’s cheaty solver uses the word RAISE as the best starting word in hard mode. The distribution of following words are:

betel 5.23%
pilot 4.62%
truly 4.45%
outer 4.41%
cloak 3.97%
tangy 3.93%
stunk 3.46%
acorn 3.37%
cleat 2.98%

Based on that, a pretty decent heuristic is RAISE, COULD, TANGY.

That’s Not Terrible Enough, Don

You can play with Aaron’s solver directly here. Note that it runs entirely client-side, so it’s not sprightly.

The source is available on github if you’re inclined to mess about on your own.


If you’re not getting enough turn-based internet-shareable puzzles in your life, you might check out:

  • Quordle – Wordle in really quite very hard mode. Solve four Wordles at the same time. If you enjoyed Wordle but are starting to get a bit bored with it, you probably want to check that out.
  • Globle – Wordle for geography nerds. Find a random country in the world.

Any more I should check out?


About dondo

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Are you a spambot? *