Unless you have been hiding under a rock this year, you’ve heard of Wordle. It has been thrilling to see a puzzle’s popularity explode and dominate the national conversation. This doesn’t happen often!
Today’s challenges are for those of you caught up in the craze. If you enjoy Wordle’s playful mixture of pattern spotting, logical reasoning and vocab-hunting, these puzzles will be right up your street.
1. Which country am I in?
Each of the following words appears either in the middle or at the end of a country. For example, ACED is in Macedonia. What are the countries? If you get more than ten you are doing extremely well!
1. DIVE, 2. DONE, 3. GLAD, 4. HAIL, 5. HELL, 6. LAYS, 7. NAME, 8. OVEN, 9. RAIN, 10. RUNE, 11. SCAR, 12. SWAN, 13. TENS, 14. WAND.
Tip: One is in South America, two in Europe, two in continental Africa, six in Asia and three are island nations.
2. Insert here.
If you insert the letters ‘NS’ in the same position in the words PAY, SUET, TOIL, DEITY and COOLED, you get five new words: PANSY, SUNSET, TONSIL, DENSITY, and CONSOLED.
For each of the following groups of words, can you find two letters to insert in the same position to form five new words?
1. JEER, VERY, JUICE, PEERED, POURING
2. BOW, DUDE, DIVER, RATION, DOUSING
3. JAY, DALE, FEES, MULES, FILING
4. BOO, FIR, CREED, CHAISE, WHILING
5. WAY, FILE, POET, DOING, BAREST
6. ORE, FILE, CLASS, OLIVE, MATING
3. Seven cars.
Each clue below describes a 9-letter word that includes the consecutive letters CAR. Thus one of the words is CAR_ _ _ _ _ _, one is _CAR_ _ _ _ _ _, and so on until _ _ _ _ _ _ CAR. Find the words.
1. Coconut cookies
2. Cornfield denizen
3. Ink _____
4. Study aid
5. Tossed out
7. Vacation missives
All the puzzles are written by Vincent J. Matsko, and taken from his hugely enjoyable book The Puzzle Cabaret, which is full of many innovative maths, logic and word puzzles. Vincent is a maths educator, puzzle designer and mathematical artist, and brings a cross-disciplinary creativity to his puzzles.
I’ll post the answers to the questions at 5pm UK today.
Please NO SPOILERS. Instead discuss your Wordle strategies. I’ll tell you my opening word if you tell me yours.
I set a puzzle here every two weeks on a Monday. I’m always on the look-out for great puzzles. If you would like to suggest one, email me.
I’m the author of several books of puzzles, most recently the Language Lover’s Puzzle Book. I also give school talks about maths and puzzles (online and in person). If your school is interested please get in touch.