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The New York Times has made a few upgrades to its Wordle assistant WordleBot, and that includes a new recommended starting word: SLATE. Previously, it recommended CRANE, but now you might want to slate this new one into your repertoire.

The NYT introduced WordleBot in April as a “daily companion” to help analyze your Wordle play, and with WordleBot 2.0, the team has made some changes. One of the bigger changes is that the bot no longer limits its analysis to the subset of five letter words that are known Wordle solutions — that is, it’s thinking more like a typical human player would. Previously, the bot could have judged you harshly for guessing a legit word that, for whatever reason, isn’t one of the possible Wordle solutions, which could feel unfair. Now, the bot has its own dictionary of approximately 4,500 words that it thinks players might reasonably guess, and it assigns each of them the probability of being a solution, according to the NYT’s post about the updates.

As a result of the adjustments, the recommended starting word has changed to SLATE from CRANE on regular mode and to LEAST from DEALT in hard mode. That means, in theory, SLATE or LEAST are better starters if you’re playing off the top of your head, rather than with a known list of possible solutions on hand. (Though if you’ve grown attached to CRANE or DEALT, the NYT says that both are still excellent openers. About a quarter of WordleBot users started with CRANE today, so the bot clearly has some influence on people’s play.) The NYT has also added some new stats like a rating for information gained from a certain guess.

The upgrades all sound pretty handy, but unfortunately, WordleBot is still only available to paying Times Games, News, or All Access subscribers. If you’re an active Wordle player, though, the new bot could be an enticing reason to sign up for one of those subscriptions. Also, it has great sneakers.





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