And to think I was reluctant to ’fess up to my new Wordle habit.
Sheesh, people. We are apparently a community of word game nuts, or we’re all easily amused in the dark days of winter. Maybe both. But one thing is patently clear — Wordle is enjoying a brisk patronage in the Methow Valley community.
Upon publication of my first Wordle column a few weeks ago, I received more responses than I have about any other column I’ve written in the past however many years I’ve been doing this: emails, texts, grocery store aisle and school parking lot conversations.
I heard from other people like me, who are in the thick of careers and/or raising children. I heard from teenagers, many of whom complete their Wordles before school each morning. Both of these groups appreciate — nay, rely upon — the certainty that Wordle is just once a day; otherwise it’s just too slippery a slope to even begin navigating.
I heard from even more retirees, all of whom hastened to reassure me that there are myriad ways to turn Wordle from an occasional diversion into an all-consuming time-suck. “Don’t worry,” they all said, unhelpfully, “there are plenty of online word games that are as rewarding as Wordle!”
Translation: “We welcome you to join us in falling down this rabbit hole that we have the luxury of time to explore.”
There’s Dordle (solve two Wordles at once), Quordle (four Wordles), Crosswordle (a mish-mash) and, for a certain demographic, Taylordle — a Taylor Swift-themed word puzzle of four to eight letters that, like its namesake, refuses to conform to convention.
If you like to create words instead of deciphering them, there’s Spelling Bee, from the depths of whose limitless lexicon you might as well whisper “buh-bye” as you descend. With Spelling Bee, it’s a quick trip from diversion to dependence.
One reader told me about spending time with an elder at Jamie’s Place who was mystified by a particular six-letter online word puzzle. The two of them worked at the word for quite a while, scratching their heads figuratively, if not literally. But they were stumped. Then suddenly the answer struck them simultaneously: SENIOR. “We both got a good chuckle out of that,” they reported.
It seems as if while we wait for spring through these blustery April days — while we wait to start gardening, to getting out into the mountains, to finally packing away those down jackets — we are going to keep entertaining ourselves with linguistic challenges: these happy rural minds doing wordy games quite often.