Stefan Heine from Hamburg has secured the rights for the German-language version. We also have the guessing game.
In the open-plan office Stephen Heinea former steam laundry, numerous are lined up on 112 square meters puzzle books, Sudoku blocks and decks of cards together. Eight employees help there, the different ones puzzle variationswhich appear primarily in German daily newspapers.
“We have 150 to 180 different shapes on offer. And there are still a lot of subspecies,” says the 53-year-old, whose puzzles are printed around 300 million times a month. However, the latest trend among puzzle makers is not on the magazine shelf, but is only available digitally. We’re talking about “wordle”.
Guessing game: “Wordle” invites you to puzzle
“In January, a friend from England drew my attention to it. The great thing about it is that you can see the solution paths. Something like that is not possible with a normal Sudoku. That’s why you can share the game very well with each other,” says Heine, who has secured the rights for the German-language version of “Wordle” with his publisher.
The hype surrounding the guessing game comes from the USA. New York-based software developer Josh Wardle originally intended the game as a gift for his girlfriend. In October 2021, “Wordle” was also launched as a web application. According to Wardle, on November 1, 90 people had played “Wordle”. Two months later, there were 300,000 people. Shortly thereafter, “Wordle” even surpassed the million mark. In February 2022, the “New York Times” acquired the rights to the game for a low seven-figure sum. Since then, the original version of “Wordle” can be used on the “New York Times” website.
“It is important that these are words that everyone knows”
The principle of the game is reminiscent of the well-known hangman in the broadest sense. A solution word must be derived from individual letters. There is a limited number of attempts. With “Wordle” there are six attempts that the users have. The word to be guessed is always five letters long. On the way to the solution, a word consisting of five letters must be entered each time. There are color clues after each attempt. Correctly placed letters are colored green, non-existent letters are colored gray. If a letter occurs but not in the typed position, it turns yellow.
While there are around 2,000 solution words in the original, Heine deliberately kept the number for the German version lower: “We have a database with over 45,000 words. I looked for all five-letter terms there. We then shortened them, so that in the end There were about 800 words left. It’s also important that these are words that everyone knows. Otherwise it would be too complicated.”
Can only be played once per day
There are different ways of finding the word you are looking for. However, it is advisable to start with a word that has a lot of vowels, as Heine explains: “Starting with words in which letters appear twice is of course not so clever. Words like “piano” or “adieu” are good for the first try.”
What is special about “Wordle” is that it can only be played once a day. This initially caused irritation among Heine’s customers: “Some were initially of the opinion that it didn’t make any sense. But I think that’s great. So everyone can take a few minutes a day and compare with friends how many attempts it took to guess the word.” Wordle is already played every day among the employees in his company. “I’m not really good at it yet,” admits Heine.
“Wordle” in our portal
In addition to the many puzzle collections, a few trophies in his office are particularly eye-catching. “I founded the German Sudoku Championship in 2005 and have been the national coach ever since,” he explains. So far, Heine has been to 14 world championships. In 2010 and 2011 he won the title for Germany. He is skeptical about a world championship in the “Wordle” because of the different languages: “It will certainly be difficult. But this game is not just a matter of luck. You can definitely train for it.”
You can now also train your own “Wordle” skills here: waz.de/wordle A new puzzle will be published there every day at 12 noon.
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