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Today's Wordle answer and hints — solution #423, Tuesday, August 16

Wordle displayed on a smartphone
(Image credit: Shutterstock)

Today's Wordle answer is a bit of a relief after four really tough puzzles, but don't go expecting it to be easy.  

The NYT's WordleBot tool, which analyzes every game played, says that people are completing it in an average of 4 guesses — which is not too bad in comparison to what's come before it. But it's still quite tricky and you still might find some hints to be helpful. After all, a Wordle failure is only ever six guesses away.

I’ve played every Wordle so far and lost only once, so I've got plenty of Wordle tips and tricks to share. I've also analyzed every Wordle answer to look for patterns and got some further advice for you there. And if you're new to the game you should also take a look at my What is Wordle? guide.

Each day, I'll be updating this article with tips to help you find today's Wordle answer. And if the hints aren't enough, I'll even give you the solution, in case you're really stuck or just haven't had time to complete today's puzzle. I've also included my analysis of yesterday's puzzle, #422, in case you're reading this in a different time zone.

So be warned: spoilers lie ahead for game #423. Only read on if you want to know today's Wordle answer!

Today's Wordle answer #423 — hints to help you solve it

My first tip is that you should use one of the best Wordle start words for every game you play. But if you want some more specific clues to today's Wordle answer then here you go:

  • It contains two vowels*
  • It has no repeated letters
  • It starts with a common starting combination

* By vowel I'm meaning A, E, I, O, U. There are other letters that are sometimes considered to be vowels, depending on how they are used. 

Those hints should get you at least some of the way towards finding today's Wordle answer. If not, then you can read on for a bigger clue; or, if you just want to know the answer, then skip down further for that.

Alright then, here's my final hint: Today's Wordle answer is something you eat.

OK, it's time to scroll down for the answer…



Today's Wordle answer #423, Tuesday, August 16

The game Wordle displayed on two smartphones

(Image credit: Shutterstock)

So, what is today's Wordle answer for game #423?

Drumroll please — it's GRUEL.

On the face of it, this is the easiest Wordle we've had in five days. WordleBot is reporting an average of 4 for it — way down on the 4.5 we had yesterday (see below) — and in general a score of 4 is about standard for Wordle. In fact, the average for the past two months is 4.1, so if anything this is easier than standard.

Then again, 'easy' is a relative term and a lot will depend on your choice of the best Wordle start words and on how much luck you get.

It will also depend on you making the right choices, of course — and that's something I failed to do today. I scored only my third 5/6 in the past 20 games, and given that the previous two came on games that rated a 4.7 average, I'm pretty disappointed with myself.

Anyway, today's puzzle isn't too bad if you don't make silly mistakes. The starting combination of GR is certainly a common one, ranking sixth in that regard. GRUEL is one of 38 Wordle answers that begins with GR, and it's actually the most common starting combination that doesn't include an S or C. Plus, G is the eighth most common starting letter in its own right, and R is third most common in position #2.

The other letters also occur pretty regularly in Wordle. As I show in my analysis of every Wordle answer, E is the most common both overall and in position #4, as it is here. Meanwhile, L is the fifth most likely letter to end an answer and U is also the fifth most likely to be in the middle of a word.

So, every letter here is both common overall and in a place where you'd expect it.

The biggest complication with today's Wordle answer is probably that it's not exactly a common word — or at least not unless you spend a lot of time reading Charles Dickens novels. In fact, it only ranks 28,206th in Word and Phrase Info (opens in new tab)'s frequency list, which is way down on most recent answers. KHAKI, for instance, is 13,524th and yesterday's POKER is 8,284th. 

That obscurity definitely had a bearing on my game, but ultimately my 5/6 owed more to a couple of poor decisions. The game started in exactly the same way as yesterday's did, with STARE giving me yellow E and a yellow R.

Once again, WordleBot reported after the game that this left me with 118 possible answers, but those of you using CRANE had a much easier time of it today, with a mere 22 possible solutions to narrow down.

In yesterday's game, I decided the word would probably end in ER but played a non-ER start word anyway. Today, I decided to choose an ER word… and it turned out that I shouldn't have done. Typical.

Not that my choice of CODER was necessarily a terrible one; WordleBot awarded me 82 for skill and told me I cut the number of answers from 118 to just 10, which is a pretty decent result. But it again told me that DRIER would have been a better choice. 

DRIER would have reduced my options to six, and given that WordleBot told me yesterday that it was the best guess in these circumstances, it was sheer pig-headedness of me that I didn't choose it today.

Though I didn't know there were exactly 10 options remaining at this stage (WordleBot only gives me that information after the game), I came up with all 10 of them independently — plus a bonus one, RIVEN, which I'm sure Wordle accepts as a guess but which I now know isn't an answer.

Anyway, the other 10 were RIPEN, RENEW, REPEL, REBEL, REVEL, BRIEF, GRIEF, GRUEL, PREEN and GREEN.

Looking at that list, the best option would either have been to play a throwaway word to narrow things down — WordleBot suggested PLEBE — but I instead went with GRIEF.

Wordle 423

(Image credit: Wordle/NYT)

As it happens, this was again a reasonable choice, and it eliminated all but two options. But WordleBot only gave me a 70 for skill here and was slightly grudging in its feedback that this was a "pretty good" guess. Or maybe I'm reading too much into it…

With GR-E- confirmed, I knew it was either GREEN or GRUEL. I decided that GRUEL might not be an answer at all, so went with GREEN, and obviously got it wrong. That left me to play GRUEL on the next go and score a below-par 5/6.

Really, my problems here stemmed from my start word — which I think I am going to change — and my choice of second word. Must. Do. Better.

Let me know how you did in the comments or via email (opens in new tab) — and if you have already got in touch then apologies for the delay in replying, you will get a response soon (honest)!

Yesterday's Wordle answer #422, Monday, August 15

Reading this in a time zone where it's still Monday? The Wordle answer for game #422 was POKER.

The Wordle rollercoaster continues to have nice sedate bits followed by absolutely terrifying sections, and we're stuck on one of the latter right now — because this is fourth puzzle in a row with an average of at least 4.3.

In fact, according to WordleBot, this one is being solved in an average of 4.5 guesses — making it the third hardest we've had in the past couple of weeks, with only Saturday's HUNKY and last week's BUGGY (both 4.7) rating higher than that.

The problem here, as with any ---ER answer, is that there are simply too many to choose from. While yesterday's KHAKI (4.3) was undeniably difficult, it at least didn't suffer from that issue. But POKER… well, good luck narrowing it down on hard mode.

I've had plenty of people ask me why I don't play on hard mode, and there are two reasons. Firstly, the majority of people who read this don't play in hard mode, and I want the strategies I share here to be useful for the greatest number of people. And secondly, I feel like it increases the role of chance in the game, at the expense of skill. In that sense, I'm not even sure 'hard mode' is accurate — it's more like 'restrictive mode'. I discuss the issue in more depth in my article about how I've played every Wordle and lost only once, so have a read of that for more.  

Anyway, today's puzzle will have been difficult whatever mode you played it in. Too many answers was one factor, but the letters didn't help — or rather, one didn't. And yet again, that one was K.

Regular readers will know that I've said K is uncommon outside of the final position in a Wordle answer. In fact, I show in my analysis of every Wordle answer that K ranks only 20th overall, and that of its 210 instances in Wordle, more than half come at the end of a word.

That's all fine, but… we just had our third game in a row where K didn't go at the end, with POKER following on from KHAKI and HUNKY. That's probability for you!

Other than the K, the letters aren't too bad. P is a very common starting letter, ranking fifth in this regard, while O is the second most common letter to be in position #2. ER, meanwhile, is the most common ending combination in the game, with 141 Wordle answers, or around 6% of the total, ending in this way.

Word-wise, it's another common one: it ranks at 8,284th in Word and Phrase Info (opens in new tab)'s list of the most frequently used English words, and is the name of a card game or a metal rod for stirring a fire.

My game didn't go too badly in the circumstances, but I had a huge dose of luck with my third guess that cut my score down from a probable 5/6 to an above-average 4/6. As always, I started with one of the best Wordle start words, STARE, and today this gave me yellow E and R.

According to WordleBot, this left me with 118 possible answers, which was not particularly promising, while those of you using WordleBot's favored CRANE had 122 possible solutions open to you; neither opening strategy helped much today!  

I was fairly confident the answer would indeed end with ER — about two-thirds of those 118 possible answers do, according to the WordleBot list I saw after my game finished — but I decided to take a different route for my second guess. Partly this was due to wishful thinking on my part; I was hoping it wouldn't be an ER answer! But my choice of CRIED also enabled me to play two letters, C and D, that featured heavily among the possible answers that I identified. Admittedly, I could also have gone for CODER in that sense, but I didn't think of it until after I'd played. 

Wordle 422

(Image credit: Wordle/NYT)

CRIED was a decent guess; WordleBot awarded me 87 for skill and told me I'd cut the options from 118 to 38. It suggested DRIER, which would have reduced the solutions to 33 — but I'd never had gone for a word containing two Rs so early in the game, whatever WordleBot says.

CRIED confirmed the E in position #4 and all-but confirmed the R at the end after it. There were a few options that instead started with an R — for instance REBEL, RENEW, REPEL and REVEL — but otherwise it was ER all the way. 

At this stage, I made a nice long list of possible ER words and came up with about 20 of them. I wasn't comprehensive, because I didn't expect to actually guess it on my third go — this was about identifying the most common letters to play. In the end, I decided to go for POWER, which included an O — a must-have with A and I discounted — plus P and W, which featured in the likes of POKER, PORER, MOWER, FEWER, HOPER and ROWER. I have no idea if those are all genuine Wordle answers, but they all seemed like possibles.

POWER was a very, very lucky guess — in that it left me with just one possible answer. In fact, though WordleBot awarded it 85 for skill, it gave it 88 for luck, which is super high. Given that I had a fair bit of bad luck yesterday, I'll take that.

Of course in my head, I still had two possible answers, because it could also have been PORER. WordleBot subsequently confirmed that PORER is not an answer — though I'm sure it's accepted as a guess — so I'll have to remember that for next time. Even without knowing that, though, I was slightly dubious about whether it would be an answer, so I played POKER while keeping PORER up my sleeve for if I needed it. 

As it happens, I didn't — POKER was correct and I found today's Wordle answer in 4/6, actually beating WordleBot's 5/6 score to boot. But I needed a large dose of luck on what was a difficult game.   

Previous Wordle answers

If you're looking for a list of older Wordle answers, we can also help. Here's a list going back 20 games.

  • Wordle #422: POKER
  • Wordle #421: KHAKI
  • Wordle #420: HUNKY
  • Wordle #419: LABEL
  • Wordle #418: GLEAN
  • Wordle #417: CLING
  • Wordle #416: PATTY
  • Wordle #415: UNFIT
  • Wordle #414: SMEAR
  • Wordle #413: ALIEN
  • Wordle #412: BUGGY
  • Wordle #411: RHYME
  • Wordle #410: YOUTH
  • Wordle #409: COYLY
  • Wordle #408: QUART
  • Wordle #407: CRAMP
  • Wordle #406: BLUFF
  • Wordle #405: UPSET
  • Wordle #404: STOMP
  • Wordle #403: MOTTO

Wordle tips — how to win at Wordle

The best tip I can give is to use one of the best Wordle start words. I can't stress this enough — it makes a massive difference. 

Without one, you'll be scrabbling around in the dark trying (and possibly failing) to find the right five letters (or possibly fewer) out of the 26 possibles. But clever people (not me) have done the math and identified the best start words based on both frequency in English and frequency among Wordle answers. So use them! 

Secondly, think about combinations, especially at the start and end. Some options are far more common than others — for instance, SH, ST, CR and CH all feature frequently. 

Vowels obviously need consideration too: not all Wordle answers will contain more than one, but plenty do, and some even have three. A good Wordle start word should have used a couple, but if they don't feature you might well want to try another one or two on your next go.

Plus, remember the Y — this sometimes acts as a surrogate vowel, and is easy to forget. It also appears at the end of plenty of words.

Finally, try out possibilities. So long as you don't press 'Enter' you can try possible answers to see how they look on screen. Put in likely letters plus any you know are definitely in the word, then mentally change one to the other available options. This technique has worked for me multiple times, and it's particularly helpful when the word in question is not an obvious one (like FJORD or ISLET). 

What else should I know about Wordle?

Wordle officially launched in October 2021, but actually started in June of that year and celebrated its first birthday on June 19, 2022. (You can read my thoughts on the 5 things Wordle needs to improve if it's to keep us playing for its second year.)

However, it only grew in popularity towards the end of the year, then went viral in January as the world woke up to its charms. In fact, it proved so successful that The New York Times bought Wordle for a seven-figure sum in early February and the game is now part of NYT Games.

It's played via the NYT Games website here (opens in new tab), and is entirely free. Both the NYT and the game's creator, Josh Wardle, have stated that it will remain free. Some people think that Wordle has got harder since the NYT takeover, but it really hasn't.

Wordle is a simple game in which your challenge is to guess a five-letter word in six attempts. Each time you guess, you're told which of your chosen letters are in the target word, and whether they are in the right place. 

If a letter is in the correct place, it turns green. If it's in the word but in the wrong place, it turns yellow. And if it's not in the word at all, it turns gray.

There's just one puzzle a day, and everyone completes the same one. It resets at midnight each day. You'll find more information about the game in our What is Wordle? article.

Wordle Alternatives

If you're eager for another game to pass the time while you wait, we've put together a list of the best Wordle alternatives. We also have a page on today's Quordle answers, because it's our favorite, and also today's Heardle answer — because that's great too. 

Other Wordle alternatives to try are the ultra-stressful (but very good) Squabble and the soccer-themed, Who Are Ya?. We also like the geography-based Wordle clone Worldle, the Star Wars-themed SWordle and the math-based Mathler.

There are certainly plenty of options once you've finished Wordle for the day!

Marc McLaren
Marc McLaren

As Editor in Chief (U.K.) on Tom’s Guide, Marc oversees all gaming, streaming, audio, TV, entertainment, how-to and cameras coverage, and is also responsible for the site’s U.K.-focused output. He previously edited the tech website Stuff and has tested and written about phones, tablets, wearables, streaming boxes, smart home devices, Bluetooth speakers, headphones, games, TVs, cameras and much more. He also spent years on a music magazine, where his duties mainly involved spoiling other people’s fun, and on a car magazine. An avid photographer, Marc likes nothing better than taking pictures of very small things (bugs, his daughters) or very big things (distant galaxies). When he gets time, he also enjoys gaming (console and mobile), cycling and attempting to watch as much sport as any human can. He's also fallen in love with Wordle over the past six months and is the author of our today's Wordle answer column, in which he supplies hints and strategy tips for the mega-popular word game. Given he's completed every single Wordle so far and only lost once, and analyzed every Wordle answer in search of patterns, he's well qualified to help you safeguard your streak.

  • fraochmuir
    There is no yellow E in Stare for March 27th.
    Reply
  • John II
    I used to use SUITE which uses 3 common vowels and 2 common consonants. Lately, it seems like some of the words have been a bit more obscure, so I've switched to HAVER (thanks goes out to The Proclaimers and 500 Miles for this obscure word). If no hits, that's fine, I burn some more letters to narrow the field by using two more vowels and other common consonants... MOIST. Yeah, I know... no one likes MOIST, but it reveals two more vowels and three more consonants . That combo helped me get today's HAIRY on the third guess! 🆒
    Reply
  • Nhobuna
    The may 10th answer might also be a double. I was working through it but I have a b,u, and t as letters that are in the actual word.
    Reply
  • TexTechie
    There are 2 answers again evidently.. I have the same word as you and it's not gecko obviously 😅
    Reply
  • Scotth71
    Far from Gecko for me. Not sure what is going on but seems someone has mucked up.
    Reply
  • SS2021user
    Was in the exakt same position with the end of 335, but chose wrong. Didn't think GAMER would be a very likely word, so I chose GAZER instead. Goodbye 40 day streak!
    Reply
  • Jarmeister
    Ugh. Today's (#344) was near impossible for a non native English speaker. Word I've only heard in couple of songs and would probably not use naturally in conversation.
    Reply
  • JES2000
    I'm surprised to see the misspelled "alright" in a wordle story.
    Reply
  • SS2021user
    I got Wordle 348 in 3 guesses as well, but I got... slightly luckier with my second guess. After guessing STARE I guessed PHONY, leaving me with 1 possible solution, and 4 green letters.
    Reply
  • R_macus
    Streak ended with #357. Stare, House, poise, loose, moose, noose.
    Reply