My name is Lesley, and I am a Wordle addict. A further admission, my partner in crime is Graham, my colleague at The Leader. I’m not sure how the obsession originated, but given we both have a love of reading, language and communications, it’s probably not surprising that we were quickly drawn in.
Graham maintains that we simply share our daily scores with each other, but I beg to differ!
I was aware that Wordle had been created during lockdown, but a quick Wikipedia search revealed that the creator is a Welsh software engineer named Josh Wardle. He created the game for himself and his partner, and made it public in October 2021. Within a couple of months it quickly gained traction, particularly after Wardle added the ability for players to copy their daily results for social sharing.
The New York Times purchased Wordle in 2022 for an undisclosed seven-figure sum, but they plan to keep it free for players. Players have six attempts to guess a five-letter word, and feedback for each guess is provided in the form of coloured tiles indicating when letters match or occupy the correct position.
Apparently the mechanics are nearly identical to the 1955 pen-and-paper game Jotto and the television game show franchise Lingo.
But why is it so addictive? I’m not normally drawn to crosswords or sudoku, so for me it’s probably Wordle’s simplicity and timeframe that attracts me. It has also become habitual and part of my morning routine with my ubiquitous freshly ground coffee.
I’ve written about them before, but it’s worth giving another shout-out for Argyll Coffee Roasters in Tighnabruaich on the beautiful Scottish west coast. I order their whole beans online, grind them freshly and use my preferred brewing method of a French Press or cafetiere. Quick, simple and delicious.
They make sure they are on top of the latest coffee research, science and education through membership of the Speciality Coffee Association (SCA) and the Coffee Roasters Guild. They are SCA trained in green coffee, barista, brewing and roasting.
Coffee roasting is done on a Diedrich ir 12 roaster which has the capacity to roast everything from boutique batches to big orders. They ensure that their green coffee beans are not only of speciality grade, but are also traceable to origin and ethically sourced.
'How far behind would technology be, if no one ever discovered coffee?'
Back to Wordle! I’ve covered its simplicity, and another draw is that it does not have a deadline, so once started it does not need to be finished in one sitting, albeit there is a new challenge every day.
This is a great feature to accommodate interruptions, and lets me ponder and come back to it if I’m finding it particularly tricky. Often a short break is all that’s needed for the penny to drop and what seemed impossible five minutes ago becomes patently obvious.
So, we’ve got simplicity and flexibility. I guess the next draw is competition! Playing against someone makes it more exciting, and gives our brains an extra workout. Sometimes the hardest games have the simplest words but offer too many choices of letter combinations. For instance flare, share, blare, chair, stair etc.
'We are our choices.'
Wordle has spawned additional games including Nerdle, a math version, Dordle where you guess two words at the same time, Quordle – you’ve guessed it – you search for four words at the same time. Octordle feels like it’s getting just a bit silly – but there is also Wordle for Kids.
If you’re not already a fan, I hope this blog has given you enough of a flavour of Wordle to give it a go. And, if you’re a coffee lover – I definitely recommend an online order from Argyll Coffee Roasters.
My current favourite is Rwanda Buf Remera Natural. It’s incredibly sweet, with a super juicy mouthfeel and notes of black cherry and jam. It was processed at Buf Cafe’s Remera washing station at 1,935 meters above sea level.
Buf Cafe was founded in 2003 by Epiphanie Mukashyaka. Epiphanie was widowed during the 1994 genocide but chose not to leave her family’s small coffee farm. Instead she set about rebuilding and developing her business and with it the local community. She established the Remera washing station (her first) with a loan from the Rwandan Development Bank and the assistance of the USAID-financed PEARL project.
This programme aims to switch the focus in the Rwandan coffee sector from an historic emphasis on quantity to one of quality - and open up Rwanda to the far higher-earning specialty coffee market. Epiphanie’s son, Sam, now oversees the daily operations of Buf.
Buf now own four coffee washing stations – Remera, Nyarusiza, Umurage and Ubumwe. They procure coffee cherries from almost 7,000 smallholder farmers in the south of Rwanda. At the end of each season they share any surplus profits with both the cooperatives with which it works and its washing station managers.
The farmers themselves have an average of only 300 coffee trees and use some of their lands to cultivate other crops such as maize and beans to feed themselves and their families.
Most of their income from the sale of coffee is used to take their children to school, pay for medical care and invest in livestock such as a cow for milk, both for use in the home and for sale locally.
Wordle, and a fabulous cup of coffee from a socially conscious small business. What’s not to like?
"We don’t need more to be thankful for, we just need to be more thankful."
Take care, lead well