Nerdle: what is maths and numbers game similar to Wordle, how to play it, and what is easier Mini Nerdle?

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Have you got what it takes to figure out the secret equation?

Wordle has well and truly taken over the internet, with thousands of Twitter users sharing their results every day via little green, yellow and black emojis.

But have you ever found yourself wishing for a more mathematical version of the puzzle game? If you said yes, then Nerdle is the answer to all your prayers.

This is what you need to know.

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What is Nerdle - and how do I play?

Nerdle is the mathematics enthusiast’s answer to Wordle, the popular online game which sees players try to figure out a secret word in just six tries.

Nerdle is very similar - but instead of letters and words, Nerdle deals with numbers and maths.

So in Nerdle, there are eight “letters” to guess, with each “letter” being one of “0123456789+-*/=”. The same way you cannot enter random letters to guess in Wordle, your Nerdle guess must also be mathematically correct.

The number on the right side of the equals symbol (=) is just a number, not another calculation.

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Nerdle also says: “Standard order of operations applies, so calculate * (multiply) and / (divide) before + (plus) and - (minus).

“Order matters in Nerdle. If the answer we’re looking for is 10 + 20 = 30, then 20 + 10 = 30 isn’t close enough.”

Nerdle is very similar to Wordle - but instead of a word you’re trying to guess, it’s an equation (Photo: Nerdle)Nerdle is very similar to Wordle - but instead of a word you’re trying to guess, it’s an equation (Photo: Nerdle)
Nerdle is very similar to Wordle - but instead of a word you’re trying to guess, it’s an equation (Photo: Nerdle) | Nerdle

If any of your guesses are highlighted as green, that means you have the right guess in the right spot.

If any of them appear as purple, it means you’ve got the right guess - but in the wrong spot.

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Finally, if any of them appear as black, it means that it doesn’t appear in the answer anywhere.

“If your guess includes, say, two 1s but the answer has only one, you will get one colour tile and one black,” Nerdle explains.

If the standard version seems like it might be a bit too tricky, you can opt for “mini Nerdle” instead, which is described as “easier mode with six columns”.

You can change it by hitting the settings icon in the upper right corner.

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Who made Nerdle?

Nerdle was “envisaged by Richard and Imogen Mann, put together by Marcus [Tettmar]” with “optimisations and support from Gavin”.

It’s explained on the Nerdle website that the idea came about during a discussion about the craze currently surrounding Wordle.

It says: “We were chatting about the Wordle craze and agreed there must be an equivalent for us maths fans.

“A few minutes later, we’d decided on the rules of the game and the name “nerdle”.

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“As far as we can work out, there are over 100,000 valid words but we have chosen 17,723 valid "words" as there are quite a lot we thought you wouldn’t like.

“We think it’s just as fun playing with numbers as playing with letters. See if you agree!”

Are there other Wordle spin offs to play?

As a result of the huge popularity of Wordle, it comes as no surprise that the game has inspired a number of alternative games to try your hand at.

There’s Lewdle and Sweardle, a much ruder version of the puzzle game, and Queerdle, which describes itself as the “yassification of wordle”, wherein players need to figure out the word which relates, in some way, to the LGBTQ+ community.

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Five letters, six attempts, and only one word per day: the formula for Wordle is simple (Photo: STEFANI REYNOLDS/AFP via Getty Images)Five letters, six attempts, and only one word per day: the formula for Wordle is simple (Photo: STEFANI REYNOLDS/AFP via Getty Images)
Five letters, six attempts, and only one word per day: the formula for Wordle is simple (Photo: STEFANI REYNOLDS/AFP via Getty Images) | AFP via Getty Images

Absurdle pitches itself as an “adversarial version” of the game, featuring a much more complicated playing style.

Where Wordle only has one correct answer for all players on a daily basis, Absurdle’s winning word actually changes with each word.

The developers explained: “Wordle picks a single secret word at the beginning of the game, and then you have to guess it.

“Absurdle gives the impression of picking a single secret word, but instead what it actually does is consider the entire list of all possible secret words which conform to your guesses so far.”

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While Wordle only allows users six tries to crack the code, Absurdle gives its players an unlimited amount of chances to try their luck - which is desperately needed as Absurdle is intentionally trying to prolong the game as much as possible.

If that sounds a bit confusing, the developers of Absurdle broke down the mechanics of the game in an extraordinarily detailed blog post, explaining exactly how the game functions.

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