Chris Dance writes about the burning topic of the day.
Gosh. The hot topic. The flavour of the month, the latest craze, the word on the lips, a lifetime on the hips. Wordle, a word game, as we know, a game about words, no less. Five boxes, blank, waiting patiently for you, for me, for us, the players of the game, to fill with letters, five of. Scratch head. Focus. Garth’s got this. What to choose, where to start, why why why Delilah? Pants. Brush. Chump, five letters all. Flask. Thumb. Plank, ditto. Ditto, ditto. One word, one mystery, one for all and all for one, as the Three Degrees put it. Could it be this, that or the other? Choose your weapon, what’s your poison, how’s your father? Your guess is as good as mine, unless, alas, yours is better, in which case hats off, take a bow, hitch a ride, Superman. I went twang, for that was my hunch. Whence went you? Such is the puzzle, thither is the challenge, let battle commence, for England, Greavsie and St John.
Well listen, look, you need to start like a house on fire, by the way, you haven’t got time to stand on ceremony, you wanna get straight in there with your word, go big, be bold, be brave and BANG! Not bang, by the way, which is too short, you’ve got to be a little bit smarter, little bit longer than that, bangs would do, listen, I’ve tried it all, I’ve gone with birds, I’ve had worms, I’ve had a bellyful of cakes, don’t you worry about that, by the way, as long as you don’t repeat yourself, which is a waste, listen, you want five different letters first up, get the ball rolling with a lager or a banjo or a sprat, and BANG! Bob’s your uncle. But as I say, not bang.
Boy oh boy and oh, if I may be so bold, boy! Five simple letters, one simple word, it’s the game that’s taking our great nation by storm and by Jove, if I’m not hooked like the rest of you. Who, I ask you, can resist that daily chance to take on the might of the New York Times and its most fiendish puzzle, to select five of the Queen’s most majestic of English letters, to guess at one of the many superlative words in our mother tongue, a tongue that gave the world so much, the tongue of Shakespeare, of Keats and of the late great Bobby Moore, whose name alone boasts two of England’s most beloved five letter words but ones which, with cruel, cruel irony, would be of limited use in this particular battle at least, given that Bobby has three Bs which would be a wasteful start, and that Moore is a proper noun and those aren’t permitted under the stringent rules of this most addictive of conquests. And it’s for that reason that I always begin a round of this toughest of conundrums with a random pick from that most Oxford of Dictionaries, and as I flick through her noble pages right now, the English language laid out before me like a long, long list of words, I close my eyes, stab forth with a biro and I look at the nearest five letter word to that oh so blue of inky marks, and I ask, like any good Englishman would, what, in the bloodiest of bloody hells, is a duroc?
I don’t really have a system when I’m playing Wordle, to be fair. I always stick to five letter words because there are only five boxes and that tells me that the answer is going to have five letters, but beyond that I don’t think too hard about it. I always start with the same word except when I decide to try a different one, and sometimes that works and sometimes it doesn’t. At the end of the day I think it’s ultimately quite random so there is no way of knowing what the word is going to be, and that’s what makes it such a great game. One day it could be camel, the next day it could be paint, we just don’t know. But it’s good because it keeps me on my toes. I sometimes do the Wordle while I’m in the studio waiting to start recording MOTD X, it gets my brain working, and you need to be alert to keep up with all the banter or the boys will literally have you for breakfast.
Well look, it’s what everybody’s talking about, I’d be lying if I said I hadn’t heard of it. Have I played Wordle? Yes of course. Would I play it again? Look, I’m not here to rule it out but equally I’m not here to commit to anything, be it Wordle or any other pastime. There’s a time for Wordle, but there’s also a time for renewing the car insurance and a time to go and collect the dry-cleaning, I think it’s important that we pick the right activity for the right occasion. Is this the time? It’s not for me to say. My job is to make sure that when it is the time, when that time comes, that we’re ready. That means we’ll start with ‘mason’ and we’ll go from there. If that’s no good we’ll try ‘mount’. Last time out I put ‘mount’ in six times in succession and it turned out it wasn’t the answer. What do I take from that? Was it a waste of time? Would I do it again? Hey, again, that’s part of my role to find out, that’s a privilege I have, that’s what I get mount for. Paid for.
Blood, sweat or tears. If it’s not one of them I don’t want to know. They’re the only five letter words in my vocabulary. Them and thump.
I don’t see what all the fuss is about to be honest, I mean it doesn’t mean anything does it? Doesn’t change anything. When I was at Liverpool we didn’t bother with popular word game phenomena. Didi Hamann tried to do an animal wordsearch on the coach once and Robbie Fowler threw his pen out the window. I think he’d only found stoat and wolf. But at least there’s some skill to that, with this it’s all chance isn’t it? If you start with lumps and the answer’s pumps you look like a genius. You could just as easily have started with bacon and where does that leave you? Doesn’t suddenly mean you’re thick. Doesn’t prove anything. Not for me.
Wordle? F***ing Wordle?! Are you having a b*****d laugh?! Yeah, I’ve had a go, course I’ve had a f***ing go…what did I start with? I started with ‘sweet’, then I tried ‘peace’ and then I went with ‘heart’ and ‘daisy’. What the f*** do you think I went with? I went with f***s, c***s, w***s and s***s and then I kicked your man up the bollocks and shoved his head up his a**e, okay, is that what you want?, is it, is that what you want me to say because if it is, there, I’ve said it, now f*** off before I set this bitch on you, and I’m warning you she’s f***ing angry because she hasn’t had her walk yet!!
Well I’m afraid my specialist topic is football and football’s what I know so that’s what I’m going to stick to talking about, I’m not qualified to talk about a popular word game and I think I’m entering dangerous ground if I say anything other than that I’m just here to build a club that this city can be proud of and that’s what I’m in the process of doing and I’m not going to be having an opinion on anything else at all, I appreciate that there are questions people will want to ask about word games, I understand that, but as the manager of a club that I am trying to build into one that the city can be proud of I won’t be answering any questions on other matters because I don’t feel qualified to answer them as my specialist topic is football and football’s what I know, so that’s what I’m going to stick to talking about.
Afternoon all. And my, what a fun thing this is, this Wordle, when my wife first told me about it I thought she was talking about Chris Wordle, that very fine winger who played for me at Spurs, not to be confused of course with his friend Glenn Hordle, also of Spurs, and who can forget them on Pop of the Tops singing about Diamond White with their mullets and sleeves rolled up. Peter Shreeves was a big fan, I have a memory of him singing it after training in just his underpants. He was very into his pop music was Peter, always getting his Thompson Twins out in the dressing room or blasting a number one out in the shower. I must confess I’m not the best at word games, somebody bought us a Scrabble set as a wedding present but we only played it once in a power cut in the three day week, listening to our transgender radio, eating Vesta curry with candles, which led to me getting cramp. It was on a double word score so think I got about eighteen for it. I sometimes have a go at the Wordle at the breakfast table, I once found frogs eating my boiled egg. And of course my wife beats me all the time, which gives her a lot of pleasure.