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Wordle answer (Thursday 22 December 2022): Wordle word of the day #551 and hints

Hints and the answer to Wordle #551

Looking for the Wordle answer for Thursday 22 December 2022? Wait. Shhh. Can you hear that? No, not the jingle bells of Kris Kringle's sleigh. The groans from your friends and family as they try yet another Wordle. That can only mean one thing. The Wordle answer today must be a tough nut to crack. Fortunately, you need not go alone, as we're here to help!

In this guide, we've got three clues that you can use to solve the Wordle answer today. If you're just looking for the answer to maintain a streak, then scroll a little further down.


Looking for today's solution? Check out the Wordle answer for Friday 27 January!


Wordle December 22 hints

The Wordle answer today is a double-letter doozy, and they're always the toughest beasts to wrangle. If you've exhausted your list of starting words and need some extra help, then use our three handy hints to help you figure out the Wordle answer today:

  • This words ends with an "L".
  • It has a repeated vowel, but they're not next to each other.
  • This is the name of a piece of software owned by the same company as Xbox.
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 22

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

EXCEL.

Excel is a complicated tool used in offices worldwide, but it's not just a boring load of numbers used by execs in their suits. I love seeing the creative stuff that dedicated folk who excel at Excel (there's another meaning, as it also means to be very good at something) can achieve, with a whole bunch of games playable in this sophisticated spreadsheet software. You can find 2048, Scrabble, and even Tetris on the web, and playing those in Excel is surely more fun than doing your taxes or whatever.

What isn't fun, though, is spoiling the Wordle answer today for others. Keep it a secret until tomorrow, when a new word will appear to stump us all yet again.


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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Hayden Hefford avatar

Hayden Hefford

Guides Writer

Hayden is a guides writer for RPS, having joined the team in September 2021 after a few months of freelancing for TheGamer. He’s a big fan of survival games, especially those that focus on the undead. Zombies. Walkers. Shamblers. Whatever you call them, Hayden is definitely a fan.

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