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22 Jul 2023

In this photo illustration, a Wordle, a web-based word game...

UKRAINE - 2022/02/02: In this photo illustration, a Wordle, a web-based word game is seen on a ... [+] smartphone. (Photo Illustration by Pavlo Gonchar/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)

SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

It occurs to me that various things are coming to an end soon. July has just one week of life left. The 700-stretch of Wordle is on its last legs. In the bigger scheme of things, I’m probably about halfway done myself—if I’m lucky.

Then again, I’m not sure living a long life is actually good fortune. Maybe we’re better off snuffing it before all our systems breakdown. I can’t decide if I’d rather lose my body or lose my mind first. Maybe both. Maybe neither.

Maybe I’m having these thoughts because of the Barbie movie, in which thoughts of death become a driving force of exploration for the titular doll. (Here’s my review of the film).

Most likely, I’m thinking about death because I think about it all the time, like the kid from What About Bob, which remains one of my favorite movies of all time, and certainly Bill Murray’s best.

Okay, rambling over. Let’s do this Wordle!

The Hint: One of Pinocchio’s many enemies.

The Clue: This word ends with a vowel.




I finally decided to use slate, Wordle Bot’s favorite opening guess, and it did not fail me. That’s the cruel irony. I have often scorned the use of a single word, over and over, used to solve this puzzle. I use a different word just about every day but clearly there’s something about sticking to the tried and true.

I puzzled over my results for some time. I had the ‘A’ and the ‘E’ in green and a yellow ‘L’ and after some thinking I realized there must be just two possible answers: leave and whale.

Now I don’t much care for the word ‘leave’. It reminds me of my love life a little too poignantly. So I went with the fun word, whale, instead. And I won!

Not only did I get this Wordle in two guesses, earning me 2 points, I somehow beat the Bot, who got unlucky and guessed leave on guess #2. I think I can chock this one up to being a human. I’ve been left enough to know, you never guess leave over whale. That’s one extra point for beating the bot for a grand total of 3 points.

The English word "whale" comes from the Middle English "whal," which, in turn, is derived from the Old English "hwæl." The Old English term "hwæl" referred specifically to a whale, but it was also used more broadly to describe any large sea creature or fish. It is believed to have been in use since the 8th century.

Further back in history, the Old English "hwæl" can be traced to the Proto-Germanic root "*hwalaz." The word had similar forms in other Germanic languages: Old Saxon "hwal," Old Norse "hvalr," Old High German "wal," and Dutch "walvis."

Even earlier, the Proto-Germanic "*hwalaz" can be linked to the Proto-Indo-European root "*kwal-" or "*kweh₂-," which carries the sense of "to revolve" or "to turn." This root is thought to be connected to the way whales move and twist their bodies while swimming.

I’ve been playing a cutthroat game of PvP Wordle against my nemesis Wordle But. Now you should play against me! I can be your nemesis! (And your helpful Wordle guide, of course). You can also play against the Bot if you have a New York Times subscription.

You can either keep a running tally of your score if that’s your jam or just play day-to-day if you prefer.

I’d love it if you gave me a follow on Twitter or Facebook dearest Wordlers. Have a lovely day!

As always, I’d love it if you’d follow me here on this blog and subscribe to my YouTube channel and my Substack so you can stay up-to-date on all my TV, movie and video game reviews and coverage. Thanks!