Does Wordle allow repeat letters in answers?

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Warning: This article contains some answers for Wordless published before April 9, 2021.

Wordle continues to obsess wordsmiths across the planet with its engaging and brain-scratching gaming. The deceptively simple game requires players to guess a five-letter word within six attempts. Sound simple? Well, the game’s hints, the balance of skill and luck, and a surprisingly fiendish amount of five-letter words have made it a compulsive way to start or end the day for hundreds of thousands of players.

As the Free Dictionary puts the number of five-letter words in the English language at 158,390, Wordle has words to spare. But the brain-teaser’s deceptively simple rules don’t cover a few quirks that some players could take a while to discover. And when they do come across them, they’re not likely to forget them quickly.

For instance, players outside the U.S. may take a while to realize the game uses American English. While the game’s creator Josh Wardle is British, he developed the game while working as a software engineer at Reddit in California, USA.

When The New York Times took stewardship of the game in February 2022, it re-tuned the game’s word archive to make sure no offensive or borderline offensive words could get through the mechanics. That chopped down Wordle’s vocabulary a bit, but what about words with repeated letters? Does Wordle allow five-letter words that use the same letter twice in a word, and how does it let players know?

Does Worlde allow repeat letters?

Yes, Wordle does allow repeat letters. 

Here are some recent examples of Wordle’s answers:

  • Wordle #291 — COMMA
  • Wordle #290 — NATAL
  • Wordle #288 — FEWER
  • Wordle #255 — RUPEE
  • Wordle #262 — SWEET
  • Wordle #273 — ALLOW

The game has snuck in repeat letters more than a few times since it launched, so you should count on it happening in the future.

It’s tricky when these letters are lined up but particularly challenging when they’re non-consecutive. That’s excellent news for the game, opening up hundreds of additional five-letter words.  But it’s a curveball for players… unless Wordle plays nice and has a way of letting them know?

How does Wordle lets you know that a word has repeated letters?

Wordle provides color tiles to tell players how close they are to getting the answer right. A green tile means a letter in the word is in the right spot. A yellow tile indicates that a player has placed a letter that’s in the word, but it’s currently in the wrong place. It’s the grey tiles that players don’t want to see too many times. They mean that a played letter doesn’t figure in the word at all.

But what if you’re facing a word that has the same letter repeated twice? Well, Wordle doesn’t treat it any differently from any other word. 

So if a word does feature repeated letters, you can expect a green tile if one, both are all in the right place. If they are contained within the answer but are currently positioned incorrectly, they will be highlighted yellow. If you do input two identical letters — which is a bold strategy early on in your Wordle game — and one of them is greyed out, you at least know the letter only occurs once in that day’s word. 

That means double letters can be one of those little catches that can throw off even experienced Wordle players. After all, who wants to repeat a letter when guesses are limited?

Also, remember that Wordle offers a hard mode. If you haven’t activated it in settings, it may already be your default playing style without switching on the added restriction. The hard mode requires you to use any hints in subsequent guesses. If you have it activated, you may have fewer options to play around with your letters.

Tactics for double-letter words

At least the game is all about five-letter words, which gives some good indicators of where double letters sit if you suspect that’s what you’re dealing with.

Just remember typical combinations, including double letters that end words like “LL” (“GRILL”), “SS” (“CRASS”), and “EE” (“THREE”).

Don’t forget the double letters in the middle of two-syllable words like “LL” (“TALLY”), “RR” (“PARRY”), and “DD” (“DADDY”).

When it comes to words where the repeated letters aren’t together, well, you’ll just have to rely on that good old mix of Wordle skill and luck — and remember to have fun. There’s always a new Wordle tomorrow!