Penny Pincher’s Guide to Word Games


Listen, listen, people of the pine hills. I hereby present to you Penny Pincher’s guide to playing New Times word games.

If you’re a regular Journey reader, you already know that I’m a regular Wordle reader. You know, the online word game in which players must guess a five-letter word in six attempts – the game The New York Times picked up in January for seven figures.

Since my last missive on the subject (I already wrote two columns on Wordle), I got into the habit (yes, we’ll use that word “one” instead of “addicted”) of playing four more games. Three of these new games I’m playing are also from The Times, and they’re either free or what I’ll call partially free, and I’m here to tell you about them and others.

The deal is, I’m not willing to pay $40 a year for a Times Games subscription. Sometimes, however, I question those tight mannerisms. Maybe it would be worth shelling out $40 a year to get The Times Crossword (the big one), Tiles, Vertex and more. But then I reconsider, and I’m happy with what I’ve figured out we can get without dipping into our wallets.

First of all, Wordle is still free. Fingers crossed and hope it stays that way. But if it falls through, Dordle is still available. When I wrote my last column on online word puzzles, I hadn’t started playing this two-word-at-a-time game yet. That was then… this is now… so….

My favorite site for Dordle is Dordle by Zaratustra, but there is also dordle-game. com, and probably others too. I just prefer the way Zaratustra’s Dordle works. What’s also nice is that these Dordle games have an archive you can access when you have a bit more free time, when you’ve failed your first attempt of the day, or when you’re just in the mood for additional use. of gray matter.

But back to the New York Times. Through this site I also play mini crosswords, boxed letters and spelling – the first two fully functional and completely free.

Spelling Bee, however, is only available for part of the day’s game activity. Even so, if you’re careful with your word choices and have easy fun, you can still find plenty of fun before you get kicked out. You almost always have time to spot the pangram (if you’re smarter and luckier than me) or bingo, in which the seven letters of the puzzle are used to start at least one of your words.

If you join me in penny pincher status and still want to enjoy a full game, then Letter Boxed and the Mini Crossword might be for you. I especially like Letter Boxed, which often acknowledges that I’m “Genius”, and I sometimes solve the Mini in under a minute, so I often feel pretty good at it too. (Note: the tongue is now planted firmly in the cheek.)

The Times’ Tiles game can sometimes be played for free, depending on what day you access it or how many times you have played before. I find this combination of colors and patterns soothing. Vertex, where you connect vertices to create an image, is the same – temporarily free and fun while the free status lasts. Sudoku is still free, but, alas, it’s above my mental pay grade.

My final tip: find someone who likes the same games as you, and if all your attempts to solve the riddle fail, text for help.

Sallie Rose Hollis is a Union Parish native, a retired Louisiana Tech associate professor of journalism, and a resident of Ruston. She can be contacted by email at [email protected]

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