Today’s ‘Wordle’ Answer #281: Sunday, March 27th Solution

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Another day, another Wordle. Pretty sure I’ve written that line before, but it’s still true. You get one Wordle a day and only one—though plenty of copycats and imitators and fun twists on the game exist to whet your Wordling appetite.

Today’s Wordle is a great word. Seriously, one of the best I’ve had to puzzle out since I started playing and writing about the game. It’s not an easy word, but that’s why it’s such a fun answer.

Still, it’s a doable, guessable word. We discovered that in the early days of Wordle—long before it was released—the prototype version of the game contained tons of extremely obscure words in it.

Writing at Kotaku, John Walker notes that in those early days, Wordle creator Josh Wardle simply put every possible five-letter word into the answer list, but:

“Words like “BYDED”, “DAWTS” and “BWAZI” turned out to be no fun at all to try to deduce, in the same way that any combination of colored pegs could be in Mastermind. This led Wardle to realize the secret sauce was in letting the player make deductions based on their own familiarity with language. It is, he said, about “what you can tease out, based on what you know about language.””

Wardle’s partner actually went through the entire 13,000 words ranking them based on her knowledge of the word—words she knew, words she maybe knew and words she didn’t know—to pare down the final list. Then, for years, the game was shelved as Wardle lost interest, only reviving the project during the COVID-19 pandemic.

So yeah, even on challenging days this puzzle game used to be much more daunting.

An Introduction to Wordle

  • For those new to the game, read our Wordle primer before you start playing and learn about how this fad got started.
  • Then, if you want some advanced tactics to get those low guess answers, you can read our Wordle Tips and Tricks guide here.

Today’s Wordle #281 Answer

As I note every day before getting to the solution, spoilers follow. As obvious as this may seem, I have to point it out just in case someone has gotten this far without realizing that the answer awaits. You’ve been warned.

First, a hint: Beautiful maiden.

And the answer is . . . .

Nymph!

I think this is the first Wordle word of the day that I’ve seen that contains zero pure vowels. There is no A, E, I, O or U in the word, which really through me off for a minute as I puzzled out what possible word could use ‘M’ and ‘N’ and ‘Y’ without a single other vowel.

As you can see, I guessed all five vowels in my first three guesses. Flame got rid of ‘A’ and ‘E’; Mound put the kibosh on ‘O’ and ‘U’; and Winey got rid of the ‘I’ while also giving me a ‘Y’ (which is why I guessed that word even though I knew the ‘E’ was wrong).

From here it was just brainstorming. I had a vague sense of at least where the ‘N’ and ‘M’ couldn’t go, and had fortunately ruled out the ‘Y’ as the final letter (where it often finds itself). Once I thought of using it like an ‘I’ and tried out the sound NIM I realized it had to be nymph—the beautiful nature spirit maidens of lore, and also the root of nymphomaniac.

Have a great rest of your weekend! Thanks for reading!


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