Social media users have expressed their frustration at today’s Wordle (281) after learning that the winning word does not contain a single vowel.
It comes after Wordle 280 also proved difficult, with many losing their winning streaks after failing to guess the answer correctly.
For the uninitiated, Wordle is a daily word game that sees players guess a five-letter word in six tries or less.
It was originally created by software engineer Josh Wardle as a present for his partner but was later acquired by the New York Times for an undisclosed seven-figure sum after gaining huge popularity on Twitter.
In recent weeks, the game has been plagued by criticisms that it has become “too hard” following NOW’s acquisition, with some even theorising that the publication had made the game harder – but this was later debunked by experts.
Many users have complained about the lack of vowels in today’s Wordle.
WARNING: Spoilers ahead
The answer to Wordle 281 is “nymph”.
In biology, nymph describes an immature form of an insect that does not change greatly as it grows, such as a dragonfly or a locust.
In Greek mythology, it is used to describe ethereal women that lived in the mountains, forests and water.
The word has ended many winning streaks as it is both uncommon in everyday vocabulary and comprised entirely of consonants.
“This Wordle will cause the collapse of society,” one person said.
“I can’t believe the New York Times had the audacity to produce a #Wordle that doesn’t contain a vowel. I got it on my fifth guess, but still, that’s just uncalled for,” another wrote.
A third person said: “There’s no vowel in today’s Wordle, so needless to say I’ve already given up.”
Another person who also struggled with guessing Saturday’s Wordle – the answer was epoxy, another uncommon word – wrote: “Happy Sunday and happy Mother’s Day to everyone…except who made today’s and yesterday’s Wordle.
“That meanness two days in a row. Shame on you. I hope you get stung by a wasp.”
Wordle 281 proved particularly difficult for those who have employed a tactic of starting the game with a word that contains as many vowels as possible.
Despite this common approach, language experts have advised players to always start with consonant heavy words.
“Consonants are more informative than vowels – there are more of them to knock out of contention,” Lynne Murphy, professor of linguistics and head of English language and linguistics at the University of Sussex, previously The Independent.
Murphy said she likes to start with words such as “drink”, “clamp” to eliminate common consonants.
“Whereas if you guess something vowel-heavy like ‘ALIEN’ at the start, you might learn that the word has an ‘A’ and an ‘E’, but a lot of words have those two vowels – you haven’t ruled as many words out.”