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Wordle answer (Friday 16 December 2022): Wordle word of the day #545 and hints

Hints and the answer to this Wordle word

Looking for the Wordle answer for Friday 16 December 2022? We're officially less than 10 days from Christmas, if that's your thing, and if you're anything like me, you need something to help you relax for a few minutes, because there is still an awful lot to do before you're allowed to start enjoying the alleged "winding down" portion of the year. Luckily, Wordle is as reliable as ever in that department, providing us all with a low-stress daily word puzzle we can enjoy on-the-go.

If you need some assistance with today's Wordle, worry not, because we've put together a trio of hints just below to help you out. Or, if you just want the answer, scroll down below the video to see it in full alongside its definition.


Looking for today's solution? Check out the Wordle answer for Wednesday 1 February!


Wordle December 16 hints

Need some help with the Wordle answer today? Here are some clues to point you in the right direction:

  • This word contains five unique letters.
  • If you entered the word "BOXER", four squares would turn yellow.
  • Knock off the first letter and you've got another word for a comfy dressing gown.
Looking for an alternative to Wordle? Here are eight of our favourite Wordle-likes to add to your morning puzzle routine.

Wordle answer today December 16

It's time to reveal the answer to today's Wordle. The word is...

PROBE.

OK folks, I definitely listen to too many podcasts about alien encounters, because when I saw that today's Wordle answer was "probe" my mind immediately went to one place. Oops. Still, there are plenty of other uses for this word than a surgical camera (and even then, a human surgeon is as likely if not even more so to be the one wielding it, rather than a little green man from outer space). A probe can also be a thorough investigation into a past event, or another name for a drone used to explore hard-to-reach environments. You can also probe into something, either physically or intellectually, if you seek to uncover information about it. And now that you know the answer, please be sure not to spoil it for other players!


How to play Wordle

Wordle is a very straightforward word guessing game. The aim is to guess the correct five-letter word in just six guesses. With each guess, the individual letters of your chosen word will highlight green if they're in the correct place, or yellow if they're in the wrong place. If a letter doesn't appear in the solution word at all, it'll remain unhighlighted.

Using these clues you can start to narrow down the correct word by figuring out which letters are included in the word and in which positions they belong. Head over to the Wordle site to try it for yourself. Just remember: there's only one Wordle puzzle released per day, so if you want to play again, you'll have to wait until tomorrow.


How did Wordle begin?

Wordle began life as a little family game created by software engineer Josh Wardle. He created the game so that he and his partner could play a fun little word game together during the pandemic, and they quickly realised that there was something quite special in this simple little guessing game. So after a bit of refinement, Wardle released it to the public on his website, Power Language.

The game was released in October 2021, and by the end of the year the game had two million daily players. It became a viral hit, thanks in large part to the ease with which players could share their results in a spoiler-free manner on Twitter and other social media sites. In January 2022, Wardle accepted an offer form the New York Times to acquire Wordle for a seven-figure sum. Well done, Mr Wardle. Well done indeed.

Are any Wordle words not allowed?

You can type in pretty much any five-letter word in the English language and Wordle will accept it as a guess. However, the answer is picked each day from a much smaller list of more common five-letter words. There are still thousands of possible answers, of course, but it means the answer will never be a word as obscure as, say, "THIOL", or "CAIRD", or "MALIC" (yes, those are all real words).

There are very occasional words which the New York Times will choose not to publish as the day's Wordle answer, perhaps for reasons relating to recent news or politics. For example, shortly after news broke that Roe v Wade might be overturned in the United States, the NYT decided to change the March 30th word from "FETUS" to "SHINE", as the feeling was that the word "fetus" was too politically charged a word in the context of recent events.

The New York Times has also been careful never to allow what they consider to be rude words as the answer to a Wordle puzzle. But of course there's nothing stopping you from using even the dirtiest of words as guesses, as long as they're accepted words in the dictionary, and as long as you realise that they'll never end up being the answer.


Is Wordle getting too easy for you?

If Wordle is starting to get too easy, there are a few ways you can make the game more challenging for yourself. The first choice is to turn on Hard Mode. You can do this on the Wordle site by clicking the cog icon in the top-right of the screen. Hard Mode means that any highlighted letters must be used in all future guesses. This stops you from using the common tactic of choosing two words like "OUNCE" and "PAINS" to test all five vowels early on.

You can take it up another notch by playing by what we call "Ultra-Hard" rules. This means that every guess you enter must potentially be the answer. If you were just playing on Hard Mode, and you typed "MOIST", and the "O" appeared yellow, then nothing would stop you from making "POLAR" as your next word, even though it couldn't possibly be the answer because you already know the "O" is in the wrong place. If you play by "Ultra-Hard" rules, that's not allowed. You must adhere to every clue, and make sure every single word you enter is potentially the answer.

If after all that Wordle is still too easy for you, then you could always try one of the many other Wordle-inspired games online that have cropped up over the past year. One of our favourites is Worldle, in which you must guess a country of the world based on its shape. There's also Waffle, which is about swapping letters in a completed grid to complete all the words; Moviedle, which shows you an entire movie in a tiny space of time and challenges you to guess the movie within six guesses; and Quordle, which tasks you with solving four Wordles at once with the same guesses.


If you need some help with future Wordles, be sure to check out our list of the best Wordle starting words for the greatest chance of success. You can also check out our archive of past Wordle answers to see which words have been chosen previously.

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Rebecca Jones avatar

Rebecca Jones

Guides Writer

Rebecca is ⅓ of RPS' guides team, ⅓ of the Indiescovery Podcast crew, and currently looking for something else to take a 33% share in so she can call herself a fully rounded games journalist.

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