Wordle 1016, March 31, 2024

I solved Wordle™ brand video game, puzzle number 1,016 without mechanical help. I found it difficult.

4 guesses into 2024-03-31 Wordle, #1016

I found out how many words could constitute a solution after my third guess without using a regular expression with alternation:

grep '^.....$' /usr/share/dict/words |
tr '[A-Z]' '[a-z]' |
grep -E '^[^crnepilsdum]a[^crnepilsdumt][^crnepilsdum][^crnepilsdum]$'

That regular expression matches 18 words in my dictionary. A regular expression with alternation narrows things down some:

grep '^.....$' /usr/share/dict/words |
tr '[A-Z]' '[a-z]' |
grep -E '^(ta[^crnepilsdumt][^crnepilsdum][^crnepilsdum]|[^crnepilsdum]a[^crnepilsdumt]t[^crnepilsdum]|[^crnepilsdum]a[^crnepilsdumt][^crnepilsdum]t)$'

Due to knowing that t occurs in only one of column 1, 4 and 5, but not in column 3, it’s not possible to condense the alternation by clever grouping.

The “but” in the above sentence is semantically and logically an “and”, as in Smullyan’s formation of the Og and Bog puzzle. Writing the sentence in English, “but” is more informative than “and”.

The regular expression with alternation yields only 6 words:


“baath”, “fagot” (???) and “jabot” seem unlikely and I didn’t think of them at all. Naturally, I went with “tabby”.

I don’t think a regular expression more elaborate than this is even possible for after my 4th guess, much less necessary:

grep '^.....$' /usr/share/dict/words |
tr '[A-Z]' '[a-z]' |
grep -E '^tab[^crnepilsdumby][^crnepilsdumby]$'

That regular expression does yield “taboo” as the only possible answer.

This illustrates why I found my 3rd and 4th guesses so hard to make: the regular expressions for matches are elaborate.

My fifth and final guess came to me quickly, probably because the regular expression is also simpler.

Information theory rules the universe of Wordle.