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Wordle answer (Friday 21 October 2022): Wordle word of the day #489 and hints

Hints and the answer to today's Wordle word

A close-up of part of a Wordle grid. The letters spell "what is the answer".
Image credit: Rock Paper Shotgun

Looking for the Wordle answer for Friday 21 October 2022? Goodness, it's time for Wordle #489. We're nearing the big #500, aren't we? That's a whole lot of Wordles, and a testament both to the size and flexibility of the English language, and to the genius of Josh Wardle's little daily word guessing game.

If you want to get through Friday with your Wordle winning streak intact, then allow our guide to nudge you in the right direction. Below the video you'll find today's Wordle answer, along with a definition. If that's a bit too much of a giveaway, then first you can check out our handy Wordle hints to see if you can figure out the answer before it's revealed to you in all its glory.


Wrong day? Check out the Wordle hint and answer for Tuesday 27th February instead!


Wordle October 21 hints

We all need a helping hand every now and then, particularly when it comes to Wordle. If you're struggling to find the Wordle answer today, have a look at these three hints and see if they can help you find the solution:

  • Today's Wordle word begins with a "G".
  • If you typed the word "VIGOR", four letters would turn yellow.
  • The word is related to trees, nature, and geography.
Looking for an alternative to Wordle? Here are eight of our favourite Wordle-likes to add to your morning puzzle routine.Watch on YouTube

Wordle answer today October 21

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

GROVE.

A grove is a small group of trees - basically a tiny patch of forest. It has very positive connotations, kind of like an oasis. Visiting a grove is a very good way to feel excluded from the daily hustle and bustle of urban life. But you couldn't possibly stay there. Or else you won't be able to keep playing Wordle every day, now, would you?

As always, we encourage you not to spoil today's Wordle answer online, or to send it round to friends and family members until they've already played the game for themselves. It's nice to let people figure things out on their lonesome.


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.

Use our Wordle Solver tool to help you figure out the answer to any Wordle in moments! Just pop your current guesses in the grid and watch the tool instantly give you all the potential answers.

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Ollie Toms

Guides Editor

Ollie is sheriff of Guidestown at RPS, and since joining the team in 2018, he's written over 1,000 guides for the site. He loves playing dangerously competitive games and factory sims, injuring himself playing badminton, and burying his face in the warm fur of his two cats.

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