What is “Nerdle”? New online math game compared to ‘Wordle’ and rules explained

wordle has inspired an online puzzle craze, with new guessing game websites set up for all sorts of different topics.

obscene have you tried to understand the hot terms, World is a geography-themed twist on the game and Taylordle gives Swifties a chance to show off their specialist knowledge. While most of these imitators still have you trying to identify five-letter words (just with a few more niche settings), there’s one for the math buffs.

Nerdle takes the well-worn formula and applies it to numbers. As a player, your job is to find the correct sum for the day using the same numeric digits and arithmetic symbols (plus, minus, divide, multiply, and equal) that you would find on a calculator.

However, you can’t just put in random characters and hit submit, because your equation has to make sense. Although it may seem like homework, it can be fun once you get the hang of it.

To help you understand your head Nerdle and its rules, Newsweek has prepared a quick guide.

How to play ‘Nerdle’

Although it focuses on mathematics and not on letters, the basic principle of Nerdle should be familiar to all wordle Veterans.

Just like with The New York Times‘ game, you have six attempts to guess the answer of the day. Once you’ve submitted your first try, you’ll then be notified of your proximity via a series of color-coded hints.

Characters that do not appear in the sum at all will appear black, while those that are in the sum but in the wrong place will turn red. Finally, if you managed to place numbers or signs in exactly the right place, they appear in green.

You then take a second chance at the puzzle, equipped with the information from your last guess, and continue until you find the solution or run out of tries.

The picture shows a game of “Nerdle”. For February 18, the answer is “88-25=63”.

How ‘Nerdle’ compares to ‘Wordle’

Provided you have a good understanding of numbers, the new game is actually quite a bit easier than wordle.

For starters, there are fewer characters you need to reduce (with only 10 digits and 5 arithmetic symbols) and you can always guarantee that the equals sign will be placed somewhere near the end of the calculation.

Since there is room for eight characters per line, you can also eliminate many possibilities when making your first guesses. A good strategy would be to try sums that have both a plus and a minus sign, or ones that involve division followed by multiplication.

Incidentally, it should be noted that an arithmetic symbol can appear several times in the sum. For example, you might have something like: “10 – 6 – 2 = 2”.

If you get the answer right, then you’ll have the option to share your results in one of those social media-friendly grids that have become ubiquitous on Twitter since the rise of wordle.

Also, as with wordle, there is some sort of hard mode option as you can head to by Nerdle settings and disable commutative responses. This means that you must match the numbers in the correct order to win (so “7+8” is no longer acceptable if the correct answer is technically “8+7”).

According to Nerdle website, there are 17,723 puzzles stored in the game database. This dwarf Wordle’s relatively small bank of 2,500 responses.

Nerdle is free to play on its own website, where the daily puzzle is refreshed every 24 hours at 7 p.m. ET.

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