Have you caught etymology entomology?

A few columns back, I announced that I had fallen victim to Wordle. Thanks to a lack of social distancing on social media, I have now been infected with a number of new variants. I warn you now that etymology entomology, or the word bug (yes, I know that’s not accurate, but it sounds great), is hyper-contagious.

If you are anti-vox populi, Wordle is like the game Mastermind, only with letters. Sean gave me this strain back in January. You have six chances to guess a five-letter word. After your first guess, you are shown which letters are correct and in the right location (using the colour green), and which ones are correct but in the incorrect location (using the colour yellow). With any luck, you get six green tiles before the end of your sixth guess. There is only one puzzle a day, which adds to its appeal. Recently purchased by the New York Times, Wordle’s new home is at: https://www.nytimes.com/games/wordle/index.html and for now, it is still free.

Then Michael gave me Lewdle https://www.lewdlegame.com/ which is the dirty version of Wordle. As the content warning states on their website: “Lewdle is a game about rude words. If you’re likely to be offended by the use of profanity, vulgarity or obscenity, go play Wordle instead!” I was surprisingly bad at Lewdle, having many of my guesses rejected as not being in the acceptable lewd word list. (So that my editor doesn’t develop a heart condition, I won’t include the crude words that I felt worthy of their list.)

Next, I contracted Bardle from Maureen https://shakespearegeek.github.io/bardle/ searching for five-letter solutions “from Shakespeare characters, classic quotes and general theatre terminology.” Like Lewdle, the accepted word list is tailored to the theme, making it difficult to find acceptable words for every guess. Like she said, how can TUNIC not be accepted?

After close contact with Maureen, I caught Sweardle https://sweardle.com/ from Wynn, whom I’ve never even met! Sweardle deviates slightly from the original strain with only four guesses to come up with a profane four-letter word. I appreciate that the full word list is usable for each guess, and only the solution need be a curse. Even with my colourful vocabulary, I failed my first test and may have to quarantine.

My contract tracing is incomplete on Canuckle, but I think Crystal is responsible for my bout of the Canadian version of Wordle. Online at  https://canucklegame.github.io/canuckle/ the solution is always very Canadian, like syrup, or goose. After you solve the puzzle, you get a fun fact related to the solution. Like Sweardle, the full word list is usable for guesses, and only the solution is Canadiana. Though I was not thrilled on the day that the typo ‘aboot’ was the solution; mocking the way Americans say that we pronounce the word about, I still passed this strain onto Lyndell and Darcy.

Now, my attention is focused on battling Quordle https://www.quordle.com/ which is a quartet of Wordle puzzles that you solve simultaneously in nine attempts. I thank Anthony for this contagion. I knock out fifteen letters of the alphabet before trying to solve any of the four puzzles by starting with CRATE, DUMPY, and LIONS. Quordle also has a handy practice mode. I infected Rex with this one.

After Quordle, you can still catch Octordle, https://octordle.com/ with eight puzzles in thirteen guesses.

Since all of these variants of Wordle stay true to only releasing one puzzle a day, having all of the sites in one place is handy (call me the CDC storing all these viruses for everyone). It is possible that I wrote this column more for me than you, so that I can bookmark this one page to jumpstart my daily dosing.

I have recovered from my exposure to Lewdle and Bardle, but for Wordle, Quordle, Canuckle, and now Octordle, even if there is a vaccine, I will avoid getting the prick (ooooh – there’s a word that I could have used in Lewdle).

My *cough* apologies *cough* if you catch Wordle or any of the variant etymology entomologies from reading this. Sean (my dear patient zero), Michael, Maureen, Wynn, Crystal, Lyndell, Darcy, Anthony, and Rex, if we keep at it, we may achieve herd or perhaps ‘heard’ immunity sooner rather than later.

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