There’s already Wordle, Lewdle, Vertl (Yiddish Wordle), Quordle (four Wordles at once), Absurdle, Spanish Wordle, and a slew of other variations, but the internet has set out to milk this Wordle cow until it’s absolutely bone dry. To the delight of shape rotators everywhere, there’s now a variation that uses numbers instead of letters. Just like Wordle, Nerdle gives you six guesses. But instead of figuring out a word, you’re looking for an 8-character math equation. It’s challenging enough to be interesting but easy enough to be appetizing, and I like it very much. It’s also not owned by the New York Times.
Forget the commutative property — I started with 24=3*5+9, which gave me three operators and five numbers in one go. When one of my numbers or operators is in the right place, it shows up in green. Just like with Wordle, correct guesses are color-coded. If I make a guess that is in the final equation but is currently in the wrong space, it shows up in purple. Note that order matters here: 10+20=30 won’t light up in green if the correct answer is 20+10=30.
Nerdle hit the internet on January 20, created by a data scientist named Richard Mann who teamed up with his high school-aged kids to design the game. Nerdle’s Twitter shows photos of math teachers using the game as a classroom activity.
You can play Instant Nerdle where you get all the numbers and symbols and have to arrange them into a valid equation in just one guess. I liked it so much I bookmarked it. In addition, the Nerdle team is working on Nerdle XXL with even more empty spaces.
The Wordle-ification of education — I can’t help but wonder what pedagogical Wordle variations have yet to emerge: perhaps something could be done with balanced chemical equations?