Christa Meyer, 41, a home health physical therapist, plays Wordle daily at her Mountlake Terrace home or on her lunch break between patients in her car. (Kevin Clark / The Herald)

Christa Meyer, 41, a home health physical therapist, plays Wordle daily at her Mountlake Terrace home or on her lunch break between patients in her car. (Kevin Clark / The Herald)

What in the world is Wordle? It’s an online game C-R-A-Z-E

Solving the daily five-letter brain teaser in six tries is the latest social media obsession.

MOUNTLAKE TERRACE — This five-letter word game might make you want to say a few four-letter words.

Solving the daily brain teaser Wordle in six tries is the latest internet C-R-A-Z-E.

What’s up with that?

Wordle was created by a British guy named Wardle to wobble your mind.

It attracts many people who don’t play word games (like me) due to FOMO (fear of missing out).

Google “Wordle” and there are millions of results for a word that not long ago few knew existed. The noun has been verbed: “Have you ‘Wordled’ today?” Memes and GIFs have blown up on social media. So have game board hacks.

A recent tweet by Monroe police had a board with Trust, Honor, Chief, Serve and Pride and something about how a Wordle a day keeps the crime away. Over the weekend, “Saturday Night Live” did a sketch with Donald Trump playing Wordle. Jimmy Fallon did it first.

So, yes, if you aren’t Wordle-ing, you really are missing out.

Software developer Josh Wardle made the game last October as a gift for his partner, who loves guessing games. The word game mimics the British TV game show “Lingo.”

Wordle started small in the U.K. and went viral this month. Maybe because it’s January. Last year, a Bernie Sanders meme got us through the doldrums of January.

It’s also a nice distraction from another five-letter word, COVID.

Christa Meyer, 41, a Mountlake Terrace home health physical therapist, often solves the puzzle in her car on breaks between seeing patients.

Like many of us, Meyer learned of Wordle when green, yellow and gray emoji squares started showing up in her Facebook feed.

“I was like, ‘What is that diagram?’” Meyer said. “And then I looked up what the heck is Wordle. And it was a word game and I was, ‘Oh, fun, I love those kinds.’ And I liked that it is only one per day so there is no risk of falling into the depths of lack of productivity.”

Her husband also started playing. They don’t Wordle together.

She said it reminds her of Mastermind and Boggle.

Unlike Boggle, there is no time limit. You can worry-dle over the word for hours, if you wish.

The game is user-friendly. Go to Wardle’s website, powerlanguage.co.uk/wordle, and the game pops up with no cost, signup or ads.

There is no app for Wardle’s Wordle. It is only on the browser, but you can play it on your phone.

Don’t be fooled by fakes. Many people (like me) have mistakenly downloaded the app “Wordle!” which was created five years ago and has a different game format than Wordle. Knock-offs jumped onto the craze: Wordlets, Wordie, Wordus — and Lewdle, a dirty version.

Oh, my word!

In Wordle, everyone gets the same word. It’s one word a day. Miss a day and there’s no going back.

Start with a blank grid. In the top line, make a five-letter word. Hit Enter and the letter squares change color.

Green indicates the letter is in the word in the right spot.

Yellow shows it’s in the word but not in that spot.

Gray means the letter is not in the word.

(Hint: Type in starter words that knock out common letters. “Adieu” is packed with vowels. Others swear by “stare” and “tears.”)

The popup keyboard shows which letters have been used to help plan the next move.

Solve the word in four guesses and a “Splendid” banner makes you feel good about yourself. On the last try you get a “Phew.”

There’s an option to share so you can brag to the world how Wordle worldly you are. For example, three lines of colored squares symbolizes nailing it in three tries. Impressive.

A countdown shows how long it is until the next game. (Wait, what? I have to wait 15 hours and 5 minutes and 12 seconds to do it again?)

Words are basic: Solar. Proxy. Point.

The Wordle word “Favor” caused an uproar among Brits. Those across the pond spell it “favour.” Sorry, chap. Too many letters.

Letters can be used twice, such as last week’s “Robot.”

“A tricky one today … took me a while!” warned a post by a Facebook friend.

It took her three tries that day. Took me six.

People commiserate on social media about how addicting, frustrating and wonderful Wordle is.

“Definitely what this January needed,” a post reads.

Wordle has brought unity to many pandemic-weary souls.

“This has been the only collective joy we’ve experienced in 2 years,” reads a Twitter post.

Not everyone loves it: “Wordle? ‘Word dull’ is more like it,” said another.

Andrea Brown: abrown@heraldnet.com; 425-339-3443. Twitter @reporterbrown.

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