Enlarge / A play on words as addictive as a “DRUG”.

That viral success of Wordl reminded the world how addicting a good word game can be (even if this game is not exactly new). But if you’re anything like me, the daily Wordl Grind is probably feeling a bit monotonous by now.

After months of daily puzzles, there just isn’t enough depth Wordl‘s simple five-letter guessing game to really keep pushing a regular player to interesting new places. Variations that limit the possible word space (e.g. Lewdle) or tackle multiple simultaneous games (i.e. sewing cord) brings back some of the novelty, but can only go so far.

I don’t recommend it for players who are ready for a little more depth in their daily word puzzles node words enough. The game, which comes in free and paid versions, combines the juzz saw-like, intersecting letter arrangements of a crossword puzzle the positional logic of a mathematical puzzle like Kenken, creating a truly unique and addictive brain teaser. After spending a week tearing through dozens node words Puzzles, I’m happy to say I’m still hungry for more.

come solve with me

The basic rules of a node words The puzzle can be summed up in a single sentence: Arrange the available letters in each zigzag “knot” (denoted by dotted lines) so that each row and column (of two or more letters) forms a valid English word. This simple structure hides a complicated solving strategy that rewards logic and general knowledge of how English words are structured.

The best way to demonstrate how this strategy works in practice is to walk through a simple puzzle, step-by-step. Take this early in the game’s April puzzle book.

The “AE” in the top right corner immediately catches my eye. Not many English words start with “AE,” so let’s put “EA” in there to get started.

From there we need to fill in the rightmost column with two of the letters from the “TDS” on the bottom right. Either “EAST” or “EATS” might work well there. But “EAST” would force the knot to end with an awkward “DT” at the end of the bottom row. “EATS” is the more likely solution, leaving a common “DS” ending for the horizontal crossing word.

With the “DS” in place, “ENDS” is the only word that really works with the “YNE” node on the bottom left, also leaving a promising “NY” in the small divot. That leaves “PAGE” and “GAPE” as strong choices for the leftmost column. But “GAPE” puts an awkward G in the upper left corner; Neither “GILE” nor “GLIE” would work if the adjacent node goes across. “PAGE” on the other hand leaves both “PILE” and “PLIE” as options – let’s try “PILE” first.

All that’s left is the central node. Immediately the “RO” pops out to bridge “I” and “NY” into “IRONY”. From there, the final letters come together beautifully, creating “AREA,” “GOAT,” and “LEAD.” Puzzle complete – good job!”

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