WordleBot’s Word Switch: ‘Slate’ Is Out, and ‘Crane’ Is Back In

Credit…Eden Weingart/The New York Times

Two weeks ago, we introduced WordleBot 2.0, an update to our (mostly) beloved and still occasionally supercilious tool that will analyze and rate your Wordle play. In that update, we noted that the new way the bot thinks about information means that the bot’s preferred opening guess may change.

Today, it did.

In the latest update, SLATE is out and CRANE is back in as the bot’s preferred opening guess in regular mode. (LEAST is still preferred in hard mode.)

It’s the result of two small adjustments to the bot’s machinery — one routine, and one less so.

The first change is that this week, like every week, the bot played another week’s worth of Wordle, and saw another batch of solutions. As such, its understanding of which words are likely to appear as solutions shifted ever so slightly.

The other change, one you may not have noticed, is that the Wordle guess list has grown. Wordle will now accept almost 15,000 five-letter words as a guess, about 1,900 more than it would have two weeks ago. In theory, these additional words could now be available to the bot as well.

Almost all of these new words are exceedingly rare, but we felt that a select few — like GLAMP, QUESO, POPUP — were common enough to merit inclusion in WordleBot’s dictionary.

As a result of all this, CRANE nudged back in front of SLATE as the bot’s favorite opening word. The difference between the two (or, for that matter, between these words and the bot’s other favorites, TRACE, SLANT, CRATE) remains minuscule.

How minuscule? On average, the bot now expects to solve a Wordle in 0.0009 fewer guesses on average when it starts with CRANE rather than SLATE. (If you play Wordle every day, you can expect to save one guess over the next three years by opening with CRANE instead of SLATE.) By comparison, ADIEU — still the most common starting word among Wordle players — trails CRANE (or SLATE) by almost two-tenths of a guess.

A key point: Nothing significant has changed. Relax. Breathe. For all we know, the bot will go back to SLATE next week.

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