Every day, I wake up to more articles about how to optimize your first word on Wordle.
The mega-viral game, which was acquired by the New York Times last week, gives users six chances to guess a five-letter word. It’s gained millions of daily users since its launch in October — for good reason. Word games are timelessly entertaining.
But boiling a game down to math-based choices? That’s a fun-killer.
Sure, you could play it safe with heavily voweled words like ABOUT and ORATE to improve your odds of winning by the third guess. Or you could wake up and roll the dice each day with IGLOO, JUJUS, or CHAOS.
But I offer you a compromise between fun and utility: Make your first guess a Philly word. These words are surprisingly versatile. An impulsive ROCKY guess on Jan. 28 got me to the correct PERKY answer on the second guess. Science? I think so.
Many of our five-letter regionalisms aren’t accepted on Wordle, so I’ll save you time with my research. Here’s a list of playable and unplayable local-ish words, ranked from 1 to 10 in terms of first-guess utility.
BIRDS — An acceptable form of EAGLE. (6/10)
EAGLE — An acceptable form of BIRDS. (8/10)
ROCKY — Fictional statue man, former Kensington resident, good at punching. (3/10)
SIXER — The Wordle process is different than the regular process, best not to play an X first unless you’re feeling as confident as the guy who got the Ben Simmons tattoo. (2/10)
SHORE — As in the place you go down. Don’t sleep on this as a first guess — it’s got two common consonants and that golden double-vowel combo. (8/10)
FLYER — See also, BROAD and BULLY. (6/10)
HURTS — QB #1 could be your Wordle #1. (5/10)
GROSS — As in Terry, a Philadelphia radio icon; see also, McGlinchey’s bathroom. (5/10)
STOOP — Risky first play, great place to sit. (4/10)
STEAK — Don’t sleep on that double consonant. By the way, GENOS is not accepted on Wordle, sorry. (8/10)
BROAD — There are broad shoulders and broad questions, but there is only one true Broad Street. (7/10)
GRAVY — How some Italians spell sauce. Good luck placing that ‘V’ though. (1/10)
YARDS — Local beer maker and occasional movement metric of Eagles offense. (4/10)
SOUTH — The street where you can find a Tattooed Mom and a Condom Kingdom and that one band that only plays at the TLA for some reason. (8/10)
MAGIC — Isaiah Zagar’s garden, the city after the Eagles Super Bowl win, the feeling when you win Wordle on the second word. (5/10)
COBBS — of Creek fame, good luck with that double ‘B’ though. (1/10)
GRAYS — of Ferry fame. (3/10)
JAWNS — Overplayed in Philly, never played in Wordle. (0/10)
BOULS — Contested spelling of bol or bull, plural. (0/10)
SEPTA — Would be fun to play while the bus is running late. (0/10)
ARTIC — The layman’s pronunciation of Arctic Splash. (0/10)
DELCO — Collar county made famous by a Juul-smoking detective. (0/10)
YOUSE — Youse is the plural of youse. (0/10)
RIZZO — Late South Philadelphian who probably said GRAVY. (0/10)
OLNEY — The only five-letter Philadelphia neighborhood. 0/10
PATCO — This train still runs, right? (0/10)
FOLES — Gone but never forgotten. Recognize St. Nick, Wordle. (10/10)
WENTZ — No comment. (0/10)
Staff writers Ximena Conde, Anna Orso, and Oona Goodin-Smith contributed to this article.