5 hints and tips to easily nail today’s Wordle answer (#261)

Worlde is a fun word game, but it isn't necessarily easy. Sometimes, we need a little help. Consider me your Wordle Yoda. I want to help you solve the Wordle answer #261.

What follows is a hint-based guide that can help you get off to a good Wordle start, get unstuck, or take you all the way to an early win. How you use my hints and tips is up to you.

Wordle, which is now owned by The New York Times, asks you to guess a five-letter word in six tries. Correct letter guesses appear as orange. Correct letters in their correct spot appear as green. Unless you play in “Hard Mode,” you don't have to use guessed letters in subsequent attempts.

For those who don't want my help – just answers – you can check out today's Wordle answer. I bet, though, you return here for more of my sage guidance.

What I teach here is not the one method for every Wordle win. Instead, we'll build a toolkit. Part of your training is understanding the difference between vowels and consonants, and why certain combinations of the two make more sense (or less) than others. 

I'll teach you how to look, with more of an analytical eye, at what you've gained and lost in each turn. Remember, every guess matters – even the bad ones.

Feel free to share this guidance with others – if you want them to beat you at Wordle.

Spoiler Alert: If you do not want to know today’s Wordle answer, STOP READING IMMEDIATELY.

A fresh start

Over the weekend, I only Wordled on Saturday (solved in four), trying to preserve my brain strength for a strong start today. I also learned that my wife starts her games almost the same way as I do: with a word that “just comes to me.” 

She's struggled with some of the same words as I have but has been known to “solve-in-three,” more frequently than me. Perhaps she should be writing this diary.

If learned anything last week (#258 “AHEAD), it's to slow down and, relax. I can get pretty tense when solving a Wordle, especially as I try to give you a play-by-play. 

The mantra for today is deep breaths.

The Wordle Game Board

(Image credit: Future)

1. Choosing the right first word

Your biggest leap will always be that first word. I can choose any five-letter word but, generally, dismiss anything with double letters, as per our guide on how to win at Wordle

There are two goals: Get as many correct letters in the right spots as possible and miraculously guess the word on the first try. Thus far, I've never accomplished the latter.

While I want to practice patience and not leap to any word choice conclusions, I do have a start word ready to go: WEIRD. I know, why that word? 

1) It popped into my head

2) It has two vowels (“E” and “I”)

3) I like the “D,” it has potential

4) I don't often try “W”

5) It's as good as any other word

First word

(Image credit: Future)

2. RD is in the right place

Not terrible. It's not often I get two letters correct and in the correct position on the first guess. On the other hand, there are A LOT of words that end with “RD.”

I may have my work cut out for me.

If I decide to go with Wordle's Hard Mode restrictions (I'm not officially playing in that mode), I'd have to use “RD” in my next guess. Knowing which letters are now excluded, though – “WEI” – I might attempt a full-blown guess.

First word result

(Image credit: Future)

3. It's time to consider new vowels

I feel like I'm in a great position here. The two letters at the end give me a solid direction, as does the exclusion of two vowels and that “W.” 

I scan my remaining letters for a couple of minutes and spot the “B.” Almost immediately a word pops into my head: BOARD. It's a good choice because it's all-new letters and even if I'm wrong, I've excluded one-to-three more letters and am in a better position for my third guess.

I hit “Enter.”

Second word guess

(Image credit: Future)

4. _OARD is nearly there

You would think having four letters in the right spot would be a golden ticket to “solved-in-three.” it should be, but there may be more than a few words that look like this: _OARD.

Second word result

(Image credit: Future)

5. It has to start with a consonant… but which?

I quickly realize that there aren't that many options here. I try to follow my new mantra of pausing, taking a breath, and not leaping to any conclusions. I want this done in three.

The start letter must be a consonant. I have quite a few to choose from – “P,” “S,” “F,” “G,” and more. As you might've noticed, none of them work. “H” does.

I type in “HOARD”  and confidently hit “Enter.”

Third word guess

(Image credit: Future)

Done in three… or four

Look, I'm not gonna lie. Getting Wordle #261 in three was equal parts savvy and luck. I started off strong and had an excellent second guess. Basically, I was a letter away from getting it in the mythical two.

Time to go celebrate but not HOARD my winnings.

Wordle 261

(Image credit: Future)

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