Lux Absio Bervatum

Friday, July 15, 2022

Hardcopy Wordle - W01

Ever wanted to play Wordle by yourself, offline, using a pen and paper? Do you love looking up numbers in tables and indexes? Then have I got the just the thing for you!

Hardcopy Wordle (W01, June 2022, 4 pages) (801 KB)

This is a four-page monochrome document formatted for standard US letter paper. Instructions are on the first page and six puzzles follow. I noticed there are Wordle puzzle books for sale, but every one of them I looked into "cheated" in some way: Some presented mostly-complete puzzles that have the player fill in the last guess only, some require a second human player to act as the computer (telling the first player which letters in their guess match, etc.). So I made an offline, solitaire version that tries to be faithful to the original experience and prevents players from accidentally spoiling solutions.

It works, but I think it's a little unwieldy because each time the player writes a guess they have to look up letter/position references in a table, then look up those references in the index. This process seemed like it would be fun (to me), but it's a little tedious in practice. Or maybe it contrasts too sharply with the instant gratification of the online version.

There are ways this could be optimized. Most players probably wouldn't remember the symbols (answers) associated with specific three-digit reference numbers if there was enough time between them, so I think you could reuse something like 30% of the reference numbers and shrink the size of the index.

If I were doing this as a book, another possible approach for the index might be to have tabbed sections for each position and a page for each alphabet letter at that position. Then each puzzle could have a unique non-sequential code and that's all a player would need to remember as they worked the puzzle. Of course, there would be more page-flipping. But it would be easier for folks with poor short-term memory and would probably decrease the player's chances of making errors.