Today’s Wordle answer and hints for game #977, Wednesday, February 21

<div>Today’s Wordle answer and hints for game #977, Wednesday, February 21</div>
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It’s time for your guide to today’s Wordle answer, featuring my commentary on the latest puzzle, plus a selection of hints designed to help you keep your streak going.

Don’t think you need any clues for Wordle today? No problem, just skip to my daily column. But remember: failure in this game is only ever six guesses away.   

Want more word-based fun? My Quordle today page contains hints and answers for that game, which remains the best of all the main Wordle alternatives.

SPOILER WARNING: Today’s Wordle answer and hints are below, so don’t read on if you don’t want to see them.

Wordle hints (game #977) – clue #1 – Vowels

How many vowels does today’s Wordle have?

* Note that by vowel we mean the five standard vowels (A, E, I, O, U), not Y (which is sometimes counted as a vowel too). 

Wordle hints (game #977) – clue #2 – first letter

What letter does today’s Wordle begin with?

The first letter in today’s Wordle answer is B.

B is a very, very common starting letter in Wordle. In fact, it’s the third most common overall, behind only S and C.

Wordle hints (game #977) – clue #3 – repeated letters

Does today’s Wordle have any repeated letters?

There are no repeated letters in today’s Wordle.

Repeated letters are quite common in the game, with 748 of the 2,309 Wordle answers containing one. However, it’s still more likely that a Wordle doesn’t have one.

Wordle hints (game #977) – clue #4 – ending letter

What letter does today’s Wordle end with?

The last letter in today’s Wordle is D.

D is a fairly common letter to end a Wordle answer: it’s the eighth most likely to be in that position in a solution.

Wordle hints (game #977) – clue #5 – last chance

Still looking for more Wordle hints today? Here’s an extra one for game #977.

  • Today’s Wordle answer is to construct.

If you just want to know today’s Wordle answer now, simply scroll down – but I’d always recommend trying to solve it on your own first. We’ve got lots of Wordle tips and tricks to help you, including a guide to the best Wordle start words.

If you don’t want to know today’s answer then DO NOT SCROLL ANY FURTHER BECAUSE IT IS PRINTED BELOW. So don’t say you weren’t warned!

Today’s Wordle answer (game #977)

Wordle answer for game 977 on a yellow background

(Image credit: New York Times)

Today’s Wordle answer (game #977) is… BUILD.

This is a reasonably straightforward puzzle after yesterday’s head-scratcher (see below). Is it easy? No, not exactly; WordleBot says it has an average score of 3.8, which moves it towards the middling range. But there’s nothing major to beware of beyond the similarity between BUILD and GUILD.

Letter-wise we’re in familiar territory. Though neither B or D are in the top 10 letters by frequency (they’re 18th and 13th respectively), B ranks third when used at the start of an answer, and D is eighth most likely to appear at the end. 

The average score would probably be higher if more of the best Wordle starting words had cut the options down, but it wasn’t a great day on that front; that’s expected given that there’s no E, no A, no R and no T in BUILD. Only one of the top 20, as determined by WordleBot, made any real headway: SLICE left 22. But most were above 100, with TRACE (343), SLATE (106) and CRANE (356) representative.

(Curiously, WordleBot appears to have changed its favorite start word again, with CRANE now top ahead of SLATE and TRACE. I suspect this is because the ‘bot constantly updates its choice based on which words appear as answers. But, in case you’re wondering, it doesn’t remove words that have been answers – which CRANE, SLATE and TRACE all have. So by all means use one of them, but don’t expect a 1/6 if you do so.)

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Such matters are of no concern to me when playing, because I’m using a random start word each day. Today’s was STALK, which WordleBot said was a “strong opening guess,” and which cut the options to 76 – not bad given that I only had a single green L.

I left out that L for my second guess, reasoning that it was more helpful to gain extra info by playing five new letters in the form of CRONE. Good theory, bad result – my guess drew a blank.

Still, by ruling out five more letters I had managed to cut my options considerably. WordleBot told me afterwards that I now had 15, but at the time I could only find 10 – FULLY, BULLY, DULLY, GULLY, BILLY, HILLY, BUILD, GUILD and QUILL. 

Even a brief glance at those words was enough to convince me that I needed to play a B and a G next, and that I should include an L in the middle slot as it would confirm whether this was a double-L word. I also wanted either an I or a U.

BULGY ticked all of my boxes, so I played that third time out and got the info that I needed. With the B and U turning green, but with the Y not included, BUILD was the only word that fit and I played that next for a WordleBot-equaling 4/6.

How did you do today? Send me an email and let me know.

Yesterday’s Wordle hints (game #976)

In a different time zone where it’s still Tuesday? Don’t worry – I can give you some clues for Wordle #976, too.

  • Wordle yesterday had a vowel in one place.

* Note that by vowel we mean the five standard vowels (A, E, I, O, U), not Y (which is sometimes counted as a vowel too). 

  • The first letter in yesterday’s Wordle answer was M.

M is a middling letter when it comes to starting a word. It sits 10th in the rankings, with 107 occurrences in the 2,309 answers.

  • There were no repeated letters in yesterday’s Wordle.

Repeated letters are quite common in the game, with 748 of the 2,309 Wordle answers containing one. However, it’s still more likely that a Wordle doesn’t have one.

  • The last letter in yesterday’s Wordle was H.

H is a regular visitor to the final spot in a Wordle word. It occurs 137 times at the end of a Wordle answer, making it the sixth most common letter there.

Still looking for more Wordle hints? Here’s an extra one for game #976.

  • Yesterday’s Wordle answer is an exact counterpart or a contest.

Yesterday’s Wordle answer (game #976)

Wordle answer for game 976 on a yellow background

(Image credit: New York Times)

Yesterday’s Wordle answer (game #976) was… MATCH.

Some Wordles are just difficult. Not because they have unusual or repeated letters, or because they are uncommon words, but simply because there are so many similar answers that it can be very hard to narrow them down. And MATCH is a classic of the genre.

By my reckoning there are seven possible solutions to the -ATCH trap, as I think of it: WATCH, PATCH, LATCH, HATCH, MATCH, BATCH and CATCH. And as the mathematically minded among you will be aware, that means there are more possible solutions than there are number of guesses – which is a particular problem if you play on Hard Mode.

I don’t think it’s the most dangerous trap you can stumble into, but it’s close. By my reckoning -IGHT is the absolute worst, because it has nine possible solutions: WIGHT, EIGHT, RIGHT, TIGHT, LIGHT, FIGHT, SIGHT, MIGHT and NIGHT. Another really tricky one is -OUND, which can give you WOUND, ROUND, POUND, HOUND, FOUND, SOUND, MOUND and BOUND, so eight options. 

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Any of them are a pain to deal with, and we’ve not had one for a while; the last before MATCH was SIGHT, which was the answer to game #879 in November. That one only had an average score of 3.9, so surprisingly low – but the reason for that is that it starts with an S, which also begins many of the best Wordle starting words. MATCH, by contrast, has a relatively unusual first letter, so far fewer people will have had a nice safe green one to play with early on in the game.

Not that all of WordleBot’s favorite opening words performed badly; far from it. TRACE left only seven answers and CRATE 14, for instance. But it was still difficult enough that the overall average for the game is a mighty 4.3.

My life was made harder still by my opening guess being BRUNT, which left 229 solutions. Even so, I feel like I should have solved it in 4/6 guesses, rather than the five that I needed.

My second attempt was pretty good, albeit a little obvious; I played SLATE. This did most of the hard work (seemingly), giving me another yellow letter (an A, to join the T) and cutting my possibles list to 13.

And here I made a mistake. A big one.

I jotted down as many possible answers as I could think of, and came up with five: TODAY, TACKY, TAFFY, ATTIC and PATIO. But embarrassingly, I missed the entire -ATCH cohort, of which there were still five: CATCH, HATCH, MATCH, PATCH and WATCH.

Without those on my list, TACKY seemed the best bet, and in one sense it worked well: it cut those options from 13 to five. However, those five were the -ATCH words, which meant that with only three guesses left, I had to be careful.

At this point I wracked my brains as to whether any had been past Wordle answers. The only one I was sure about was WATCH, which I remembered being the solution soon after Wordle exploded in popularity in early 2022. So what I needed was a word that contained three (or more) of H, M, P and C. I also needed either the H or C to be at the start, or I could still face a 50/50 between HATCH and CATCH on the next guess. CHIMP fit the bill nicely.

What I didn’t know was that both HATCH and CATCH have also been past answers, but it didn’t matter anyway – because the M turned yellow. The answer therefore had to be MATCH, and I gratefully played that next for a 5/6.

Wordle answers: The past 50

I’ve been playing Wordle every day for more than two years now and have tracked all of the previous answers so I can help you improve your game. Here are the last 50 solutions starting with yesterday’s answer, or check out my past Wordle answers page for the full list.

  • Wordle #976, Tuesday 20 February: MATCH
  • Wordle #975, Monday 19 February: PRICE
  • Wordle #974, Sunday 18 February: RIDGE
  • Wordle #973, Saturday 17 February: PSALM
  • Wordle #972, Friday 16 February: STASH
  • Wordle #971, Thursday 15 February: ASCOT
  • Wordle #970, Wednesday 14 February: TALON
  • Wordle #969, Tuesday 13 February: SCRAM
  • Wordle #968, Monday 12 February: PASTA
  • Wordle #967, Sunday 11 February: NEVER
  • Wordle #966, Saturday 10 February: FRIED
  • Wordle #965, Friday 9 February: STIFF
  • Wordle #964, Thursday 8 February: PLACE
  • Wordle #963, Wednesday 7 February: AFTER
  • Wordle #962, Tuesday 6 February: WHICH
  • Wordle #961, Monday 5 February: REPEL
  • Wordle #960, Sunday 4 February: VERGE
  • Wordle #959, Saturday 3 February: MICRO
  • Wordle #958, Friday 2 February: CLEFT
  • Wordle #957, Thursday 1 February: ALIVE
  • Wordle #956, Wednesday 31 January: BULKY
  • Wordle #955, Tuesday 30 January: EXPEL
  • Wordle #954, Monday 29 January: LEGGY
  • Wordle #953, Sunday 28 January: EMBER
  • Wordle #952, Saturday 27 January: SNAKE
  • Wordle #951, Friday 26 January: ALOOF
  • Wordle #950, Thursday 25 January: BLOCK
  • Wordle #949, Wednesday 24 January: RELIC
  • Wordle #948, Tuesday 23 January: STILL
  • Wordle #947, Monday 22 January: TWEAK
  • Wordle #946, Sunday 21 January: NORTH
  • Wordle #945, Saturday 20 January: LARGE
  • Wordle #944, Friday 19 January: THING
  • Wordle #943, Thursday 18 January: STOLE
  • Wordle #942, Wednesday 17 January: COURT
  • Wordle #941, Tuesday 16 January: BLOND
  • Wordle #940, Monday 15 January: LUNCH
  • Wordle #939, Sunday 14 January: DOING
  • Wordle #938, Saturday 13 January: HEARD
  • Wordle #937, Friday 12 January: ROUTE
  • Wordle #936, Thursday 11 January: BRIEF
  • Wordle #935, Wednesday 10 January: THREW
  • Wordle #934, Tuesday 9 January: LINER
  • Wordle #933, Monday 8 January: FINAL
  • Wordle #932, Sunday 7 January: STONY
  • Wordle #931, Saturday 6 January: CABLE
  • Wordle #930, Friday 5 January: LUNGE
  • Wordle #929, Thursday 4 January: SCANT
  • Wordle #928, Wednesday 3 January: TWIRL
  • Wordle #927, Tuesday 2 January: AGING
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What is Wordle?

If you’re on this page then you almost certainly know what Wordle is already, and indeed have probably been playing it for a while. And even if you’ve not been playing it, you must surely have heard of it by now, because it’s the viral word game phenomenon that took the world by storm last year and is still going strong in 2024.

We’ve got a full guide to the game in our What is Wordle page, but if you just want a refresher then here are the basics.

What is Wordle?

Wordle challenges you to guess a new five-letter word each day. You get six guesses, with each one revealing a little more information. If one of the letters in your guess is in the answer and in the right place, it turns green. If it’s in the answer but in the wrong place, it turns yellow. And if it’s not in the answer at all it turns gray. Simple, eh? 

It’s played online via the Wordle website or the New York Times’ Crossword app (iOS / Android), and is entirely free. 

Crucially, the answer is the same for everyone each day, meaning that you’re competing against the rest of the world, rather than just against yourself or the game. The puzzle then resets each day at midnight in your local time, giving you a new challenge, and the chance to extend your streak.

What are the Wordle rules?

The rules of Wordle are pretty straightforward, but with a couple of curveballs thrown in for good measure.

1. Letters that are in the answer and in the right place turn green.

2. Letters that are in the answer but in the wrong place turn yellow. 

3. Letters that are not in the answer turn gray.

4. Answers are never plural.

5. Letters can appear more than once. So if your guess includes two of one letter, they may both turn yellow, both turn green, or one could be yellow and the other green.

6. Each guess must be a valid word in Wordle’s dictionary. You can’t guess ABCDE, for instance.

7. You do not have to include correct letters in subsequent guesses unless you play on Hard mode.

8. You have six guesses to solve the Wordle.

9. You must complete the daily Wordle before midnight in your timezone.

10. All answers are drawn from Wordle’s list of 2,309 solutions. However…

11. Wordle will accept a wider pool of words as guesses – some 10,000 of them. For instance, you can guess a plural such as WORDS. It definitely won’t be right (see point 4 above), but Wordle will accept it as a guess.


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