Solution for Puzzle 2


Solution: TOXIC

Solves: 130
Guesses: 895
View guess log

Wardle is a word game that works identically to the famous Wordle game. The objective is to guess the target word within 6 guesses, with the game telling you whether the letters you're using per guess are correct, misplaced or wrong. Refer to the Wordle instructions for a more detailed explanation of these rules.

The difference is that Wardle only accepts medically-relevant words. That is the case for the first five Wardles marked 1-5. The solutions for those five Wardles are, in order:

  1. HEART
  2. ATOPY
  3. SHIGA
  4. LASIX
  5. LUMEN

The sixth Wardle, marked #♾️, is different again; it accepts exactly six words, five of which are the solutions to the previous Wardles. Entering those five words into this meta-Wardle allows us to deduce that TOXIC is the solution of Wardle #♾️, and hence also of the whole puzzle.

Authors' note

Credit: Allen Gu, Daniel Tao

A medical Wordle called Wardle was joked about between us for a while, until we realised we can make that joke into reality!

To generate the word list, we used this word bank of medical terms, within which there are 4000+ five-letter words and 3000+ four-letter words that could be pluralised. This is clearly too big for us so we decided to abandon this and find a different approach... jokes, Dan actually went through all 7500 possible words and manually selected those that were relevant to medicine. Wow. That being said, this was obviously not a highly-rigorous process of word selection (no offense Dan), so we apologise if there are omissions or inclusions from the word list.

The code for the actual Wardle game itself was modified from this code.

When analysing the guesslog, it appears that solvers who got stuck did so after obtaining all six Wardle solutions. However, they may not have realised the meta-ness of Wardle #♾️, and thus did not treat "TOXIC" as a special solution. Alternatively, solvers may have treated the six Wardle solutions as some sort of clue towards the real answer. In reality, the preliminary five Wardles solutions were unrelated words chosen to provide enough letters to allow us to deduce TOXIC from the meta-Wordle.

This puzzle was our first interactive puzzle, and we hope you've liked it! The mechanism for this is well-known to most solvers, and hence the puzzle was relatively easy; this was certainly reflected in the solve rates.

Rated or hated this puzzle? Give us feedback!