‘WIPER’ Cannot Be a Wordle Answer, And Yet Somehow ‘RIPER’ Was?
Today, I speak for many Wordle players worldwide by asking what the heck was up with the answer for Wordle #613 being RIPER.
Knowledge Waits is a feature where I just share some bit of pop culture history that interests me that doesn’t quite fit into the other features.
Wordle #613’s answer was RIPER, perhaps the most controversial word they’ve used yet in the game (note that the word list is almost entirely the same now as it was before the New York Times bought the game, so my complaint here is with the game overall, not the Times). It certainly FEELS like the sort of word that typically would not be eligible for Wordle, akin to actual ineligible words like BOATS and ASKED or various other words where they are simply plurals or a altered versions of a verb.
The AVERAGE amount of guesses required to guess RIPEN correctly was over five, so obviously many people were not able to get it done in the six guesses allowed. I luckily got it done in six, but what was perhaps even more galling about everything is that my guesses, like many people, were:
and then finally, RIPER.
However, amazingly enough, WIPER is not actually a possible Wordle answer. Only PIPER, VIPER and RIPER were eligible to be Wordle answers (Wordle answers, of course, are different from allowed words for guesses. For instance, BEARS would not be an allowed answer, but you can guess BEARS if you just wanted to get an E, A and an S in your guess). So somehow, WIPER is out of bounds, but not RIPER? It’s absurd.
My buddy Chris Nowlin did some more digging, and he came up with some more fascinating information:
In general, the Wordle answer list doesn’t have many 4-letter words turned into 5 letter words by adding s/d.
No words on the Wordle list end in ES. And no words ending in S are just the plural of a 4-letter word.
The only 4 letter words that have had a D appended are:
In a similar vein, they do have BUSED
Words like LIVED or LIKED or not on the list.
They do keep all words that have variations in spelling. Lots of words like CRIED or TRIED on the list.
With R, they are more likely to keep the words. They eliminated some like WIPER or TUNER, but still have a bunch of words that mean “more …” or “person who…” 4-letter word.
etc. all on the list.
Fascinating. Those “R” ending words are pretty crazy.
In any event, something to keep in mind, Wordle players!
Thanks to Chris for the information. Be sure to check out his blog about Coke and comics.
Feel free to e-mail me at my all-new, much shorter e-mail address, email@example.com, for suggestions for shows for us to do in future installments!