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Today's Wordle answer and hints — solution #340, Wednesday, May 25

Wordle displayed on a smartphone
(Image credit: Shutterstock)

Today's Wordle answer is a potentially tricky one to find — in fact, this might be the hardest puzzle we've had in several days.

The NYT's WordleBot tool says people are solving it in an average of 4.6 guesses, which certainly indicates that's it's tougher than the previous few. With that in mind, you might find some hints to be helpful. After all, Wordle is a deceptively simple game and 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, #339, in case you're reading this in a different time zone. 

So be warned: spoilers lie ahead for game #340. Only read on if you want to know today's Wordle answer!

PS: If you're a music fan then also check out our guide to today's Heardle answer.

Today's Wordle answer #340 — 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 uses two vowels*
  • There are no repeated letters
  • It ends with a very common ending 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 a guarantee.

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

Today's Wordle answer #340, Wednesday, May 25

The game Wordle displayed on two smartphones

(Image credit: Shutterstock)

So, what is today's Wordle answer for game #340?

Drumroll please — it's VOUCH.

This is undoubtedly harder than the previous few answers. The NYT's WordleBot tool says this is taking people 4.6 guesses to solve, which is a whole half a guess more than any of the previous three.

There are several reasons for that, although obscurity is not among them. Though VOUCH only ranks at 18,929th in Word and Phrase Info (opens in new tab)'s list of the most frequently used English words, it's still a fairly common word; we're not in CAULK territory here. 

Instead, the difficulty most likely stems from the letters used — for good and ill.

Let's start with the V. As I show in my analysis of every Wordle answer, V is only the 22nd most frequently used letter in the game. It's more common at the start (16th) but it's still not a letter most people tend to use early on in a Wordle. 

Plus, only two of the top 10 letters overall are in the word: O (4th) and C (10th). U and H aren't uncommon letters, exactly, but lots of people will have started today's game with no greens or yellows at all, or maybe just one.

Finally, the CH at the end is interesting. This is the second most common ending combination of all, behind only ER (and level with LY). On the one hand, that might make it easy to find; on the other, it means you might have ended up with lots of words to choose from (POUCH, VOUCH, COUCH, TOUCH, HUNCH, BUNCH, BUTCH etc), depending on how your game went. 

I started, as always, with my choice of the best Wordle start words, STARE, and this was spectacularly unhelpful today, yielding no yellows or greens at all. WordleBot smugly pointed out I still had 226 solutions remaining, whereas its choice of CRANE left it with only 55. Thanks, WordleBot.

Playing a couple of vowels was an obvious priority, and my usual go-to word in these circumstances is COULD. That's because C is the second most common starting letter overall, while L and D are both just common letters in general.

Wordle 340

(Image credit: Wordle/NYT)

That proved to be a sensible choice: I had now narrowed it down to just two options. I didn't know that for sure at the time, but I did suspect that was the case. With OU confirmed in the middle and with a C to play, -OUCH was almost certainly the format, and the only two answers I could find were POUCH and VOUCH.

With no way to know which it was, I played POUCH based on P being a more common letter and got it wrong. I've been a little unlucky with 50/50 guesses this week, but that's just one of those things.

Still, I played VOUCH next and found today's Wordle answer on the fourth guess. 

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 #339, Tuesday, May 24

Reading this in another time zone where it's still Tuesday? The Wordle answer for game #339 was ALBUM.

It seems like we're sticking in average territory for a while on Wordle: the NYT's WordleBot tool says this is taking people 4.1 guesses to solve, compared to 4 on Monday and 3.9 for Sunday's answer of MONEY.

It's also another common term, ranking at 2,229th in Word and Phrase Info (opens in new tab)'s list of the most frequently used English words, and is one that most people will know, whether they're using it to describe a photo album or a long-playing music release. 

As I show in my analysis of every Wordle answer, B is the least frequently used of the five here, ranking 18th overall, while M comes in slightly higher at 16th. 

Based on that, you might think these letters are rarely seen in Wordle answers, but that's not entirely the case. Obviously they aren't as common as A, E, T, S or R etc, but there's a big drop off between the really uncommon letters — J, X and Z, for instance — and the likes of B and M. 

For instance, M still features in around 13% of games; indeed, it was used in both Sunday's MONEY and Friday's GAMER. B, meanwhile, is the third most common starting letter of all, behind only S and C.

One potential problem with ALBUM is that neither the B or M appear in a common location for them, though. For instance, only 42 games end in an M, and the combination UM is even less frequently used (as you'd expect); a mere seven Wordle answers have this format.

And while B starts a massive 173 Wordle answers, only 56 games have one in the third position in a word.

Still, A is a fairly common starting letter (sixth overall), while L is a regular in most places. As today's current average score of 4.1 shows, this answer isn't super-tough — just normal-levels-of-Wordle-tough.  

I started, as always, with my choice of the best Wordle start words, STARE, and once again that proved to be fairly unhelpful, yielding just a single yellow A. WordleBot says I still had 126 solutions remaining and though I didn't even attempt to count them at this stage, I could instantly see that there were many options.

I did spend a little time working out where best to play that A, and what to pair it with. I know that A is the most common letter in both second and third position, so while I did consider starting with it (AMONG was going to be my choice) or playing it in the fourth slot (CLOAK), I instead settled on BADLY.

This had the advantage of also including the third most common starting letter, B, the second most common ending letter, Y, and two other common letters in D and L.

Wordle 339

(Image credit: Wordle/NYT)

I got lucky here — or at least that's what WordleBot said. I might argue that this wasn't luck, it was based on probability. There'd be some truth in that, but equally I spend enough time thinking about Wordle to waste more of it arguing with an AI, so whatever…

Anyway, that gave me a yellow B and L, and ruled out another couple of letters. It also left only three further positions where the A could go. I set about trying it in each of them, and could only come up with two possible answers: ALBUM and ALIBI. 

This seemed low to me, and I suspected I was missing some, but WordleBot confirmed afterwards that I did indeed have only two possible answers left — so BADLY really had been a fine choice.

I could have gone either way here, but given that ALIBI used a double I, ALBUM seemed a better choice. And so it proved when those five letters all turned green on the third guess. 

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 #339: ALBUM
  • Wordle #338: HINGE
  • Wordle #337: MONEY
  • Wordle #336: SCRAP
  • Wordle #335: GAMER
  • Wordle #334: GLASS
  • Wordle #333: SCOUR
  • Wordle #332: BEING
  • Wordle #331: DELVE
  • Wordle #330: YIELD
  • Wordle #329: METAL
  • Wordle #328: TIPSY
  • Wordle #327: SLUNG
  • Wordle #326: FARCE
  • Wordle #325: GECKO
  • Wordle #324: SHINE
  • Wordle #323: CANNY
  • Wordle #322: MIDST
  • Wordle #321: BADGE
  • Wordle #320: HOMER

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 launched in October 2021, but 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!

As U.K. Editor in Chief on Tom’s Guide, Marc is responsible for the site’s U.K.-focused output as well as overseeing all gaming, streaming, audio, TV, entertainment, how-to and cameras coverage. He previously edited the tech website Stuff and has tested and written about phones, tablets, wearables, streaming boxes, smart home devices, Bluetooth speakers, games 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 (particularly cricket).

  • fraochmuir
    There is no yellow E in Stare for March 27th.
  • 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! 🆒
  • 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.
  • TexTechie
    There are 2 answers again evidently.. I have the same word as you and it's not gecko obviously 😅
  • Scotth71
    Far from Gecko for me. Not sure what is going on but seems someone has mucked up.
  • 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!