CARLSBAD, Calif. — One of the world's top crossword puzzle writers claims he has created a system to beat the word game Wordle. In this Zevely Zone, I went to Carlsbad to meet the King of Crosswords.
Spoiler Alert: If you do not want to learn a system that will help you solve Wordle quickly 99.5% of the time, do not read this story!
Myles Mellor is probably the highest-paid crossword puzzle writer in the world. He has written more than 60 books filled with puzzles. His crosswords have also been published in more than 600 magazines in the past 20 years. At his website, I Love Crosswords, you'll find more than 20,000 puzzles.
Not to sound arrogant, but to Myles, the word game Wordle is kids play compared to most crossword puzzles. "Ha, ha, ha, I'd say so. I'd definitely say so," said Myles. To prove it, he invented a system that will 'game' the game. "Magic words. The five Magic Words," said Myles with a mischievous twinkle in his eye. "I do," laughed Myles.
In Wordle, puzzle players try to guess and solve a five-letter word in six attempts. With each guess, players can receive a yellow letter which means they have a correct letter in the wrong place of the word they are trying to solve. A green letter means they have a correct letter in the correct place of the five-letter word they are trying to solve. "I have not seen the word today," said Myles while logging on to Wordle. He then showed us his system.
"The first word I enter in is derby," said Myles. His second magic word is flank. Next, type in the word ghost. At this point in his system, Myles is not trying solve Wordle. "No. I'm not," said Myles. Instead he is just quickly plugging in his five magic words. Remember every letter that illuminates is a letter a player uses to solve the puzzle. His fourth magic word is Winch. The fifth magic word? "The last word is jumps," said Myles.
His five magic words contain 22 letters in a 26-letter alphabet. "The only letters that are not covered there are q,v,x and z," said Myles. He says those are letters that don't appear in many words. As long as you know that, Myles says you will have enough clues to solve any Wordle puzzle. "I've got all of the letters there," said Myles who had already solved the puzzle but continued explaining his system for the sake of our story.
Using his system, Myles has solved Worde every time in two minutes or less. "I am not here to try to destroy people's enjoyment of the game Wordle, I think it's a great game," said Myles. "These magic words will help anyone who is frustrated with Wordle."
I asked him if he thought The New York Times would get mad at him for releasing his system. "I don't know, probably not, I don't think so," said Myles. Because, although his system will give players all the correct letters 99.5 percent of the time, it's up to the player to take those letters and win Wordle. "You still have to solve it but this will give you a fantastic lead into solving," said Myles. "Derby, flank, ghost, winch, jumps."
After typing in the magic words, Myles had one chance to solve the puzzle. "If this doesn't come out, I will give you $50," said Myles. When I told him that $50 doesn't go very far these days. "Okay, $100 then," Myles promised. But sure enough, the winning Wordle word of that day was askew. "Bingo. There it is," said Myles. I asked Myles if he was always the smartest kid in his class? "Close," laughed Myles.
Myles is hoping people who enjoy playing Wordle will also play crossword puzzles. For more information on his work visit ILoveCrosswords.com. We reached out to The New York Times for comment about Myle's five magic words and system. We did not hear back.
Since the original story aired, I have received a lot of wonderful Wordle feedback. CBS 8 viewer, Rick Canedo asked me to add his five magic words too. Rick has a philosophy PhD, owned a startup, got a law degree, became an attorney, and developed a system to catch securities violations. His words are:
Rick says after his five magic words, only three letters are left. Q, X, and V. Enjoy!!
Both Myles and Rick often solve Wordle before typing in all of their words. They understand most Wordle fans try to solve the puzzle in a few guesses, and so do they!
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