Live: an even more challenging Wordle answer #270, March 16

Hot off the challenge of puzzle #265, which saw hundreds of players losing their winning streak, the latest Wordle is another problem that could end your run of success. Honestly, who would have thought ‘Watch’ would be the end of so many of us?

Before reading on, clearly, this live blog is going to contain spoilers for Wordle puzzle #270, the challenge for March 16. If you want to go into today’s problem clean then you should head over to Wordle now and give it a go. If you want a hint (or the solution - no judgment here) then we’ve written a guide to today’s Wordle answer with a couple of hints so you don’t have to miss out on all the fun.

Of course, if you’d like some more general strategies for taking on today’s problem, I’d suggest taking a look at the best starting words for Wordle. It’s not just a list of handy suggestions, we look into the tactics of codebreakers and linguistic theorists to come up with the perfect first word for Wordle.

Wordle guess rages

(Image credit: New York Times)

Okay, onto today’s puzzle. After last week’s Wordle caused complaints, you’d think the New York Times might avoid choosing a word with so many possible variables. With March 11’s puzzle, you could land on the ‘_atch’ part of the solution quickly and run through six perfectly reasonable variations of the answer without landing on the correct solution. ‘latch’, ‘patch’, ‘catch’, ‘match’, ‘natch’, and ‘batch’ would all seem like good answers and they would have got you no nearer to a winning answer. 

Of course, what made it more frustrating for anyone who lost their winning streak on March 11 was that the correct answer - ‘watch’ - could escape your thinking because it had a different phonetic sound. You could lock in on the ‘atch’ sound and entirely miss the ‘otch’ possibilities.

Today’s answer, if anything, is more frustrating because if you’d tried to learn the lesson of last week’s puzzle you’ll have been led astray. If you’d landed on the ‘_ater’ ending of the word and entered ‘later’, ‘hater’, ‘rater’, you may have taken a step back, thought of last week and tried ‘water’. Aiming for that different-sounding version of the same letters. You might, like me, have thought yourself pretty smart when you pressed enter. And, like me, sworn when it was another failure.

If Wordle has a lesson to teach us it is to remain humble.

Wordle on phone with the New York Times website in the background

(Image credit: Shutterstock / Gina Hsu)

Over on Twitter, you can see the gradual realization of Wordle players waking up to the horror of Puzzle #270. It reminds me of a sketch by Armando Ianucci, creator of the Death of Stalin and The Thick Of It, in which people come to terms with the banality of their everyday lives. Look, I’m sorry to go so hard on this, I just wasn’t expecting Wordle to throw up such a challenge on a Wednesday morning. 

Frankly, it seems cruel.

Mike Rokap sums up the spirit of feeling on Twitter. Not only does he feel burned by today’s puzzle, but doubly so with it coming so hot on the trail of last week’s ‘Water’ controversy:

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Still, spare a thought for Chris Burrell, who surely went from delight at such a strong opener to horror, pain, and frustration over the course of six guesses: 

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Of course, for every Mike and Chris, there are blessed players like Ankit Singh who knocked today’s puzzle out of the park. While I am full of jealousy, I have to appreciate the aesthetics of his guesses: 

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In case you were wondering, Ankit’s first guess was ‘trace’.

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