Wordle 1,039, April 23, 2024

I thought I would try to do Wordle 1,039 exclusively with computer help.

I always guess “crane” first. I failed to get a screenshot after guessing “crane”. The ‘r’ and ’e’ are yellow, every other letter is black.

Here’s my regular expression after the first guess:

grep -E '^[^can][^canr][^can][^can][^cane]$' |
grep e | grep r

Explicit alternation to get an ’e’ and an ‘r’ in the regular expression would be tedious.

That regular expression yields 360 potential answers.

The counts and letters from the 360 potential answer words break down like this:

Col 1 Col 2 Col 3 Col 4 Col 5
87 r 127 e 102 r 227 e 148 r
33 s 69 i 50 e 59 r 93 s
25 b 64 o 21 v 12 i 27 y
24 p 27 u 18 p 10 ' 24 d
21 e 12 h 17 d 9 o 15 t

Using the highest frequency letter in each column to form a word yields “rerer”, That’s not a Wordle word. I’m going to have to decide based on letter frequencies.

Next, a regular expression that finds dictionary words composed of the top 5 frequency letters in each column. I’m not allowing a single quote/apostrophe in column 4. Wordle doesn’t allow contractions.

grep -E '^[rsbpe][eiouh][revpd][erio][rsydt]$' |
grep e | grep r

That gives me 47 words with high frequency letters. I’m going with “rides”, which isn’t any Wordle answer because it’s a plural. It has higher frequency letters than other words starting with “re”, and no duplicate letters. If it’s not the answer, it will eliminate the most potential candidates.

Unfortunately, I didn’t get a screenshot of my “crane” guess. Here it is after “crane” and “rides”:

Wordle screenshot after 2 guesses

Regular expression to find words for my third guess:

grep -E '^r[^canidsr][^canids]e[^canidse]$'

That gives 14 potential answers:


Letters and counts in columns 2, 3 and 5 ordered by count:

Col 2 Col 3 Col 5
8 o 3 g 6 r
5 e 2 l 4 l
1 u 2 p 2 x
2 v 1 o
2 w 1 t
1 b
1 f
1 m

I’m using “roger” as my third guess because it will eliminate the most possibilities if it’s not the answer.

Wordle screenshot after 3 guesses

That’s my screen after guessing “crane”, “rides” and “roger”. “roger” is not the answer.

Regular expression to find any remaining potential answers:

grep -E '^ro[^canidsg]er$'

That yields 3 potential answers:


I used “roper” as my fourth guess, since ‘p’ is higher frequency in English than ‘v’ or ‘w’. I used “rower” as my fifth guess, perhaps falsely believing ‘w’ is higher frequency than ‘v’. I got “rover” on my sixth guess.

Wordle screenshot final

  • After first guess, 360 candidates
  • After second guess, 14 candidates
  • After third guess, 3 candidates
  • After fourth guess, 2 candidates
  • After fifth guess, 1 candidate

I still had to use a little judgment when choosing a second and third guess, because merely using the highest-frequency letters of the candidates did not give a word that Wordle-the-program allows.

I’m also not sure if this was “better” than doing it by intuition. It was more fun, but only because the process is new to me. If I were to do this process another time, it would be less fun than doing it with sheer force of will and intuition.