Nerdle is a math-tastic version of Wordle for people who delight in digits – CNET

Nerdle is a math-tastic version of Wordle for people who delight in digits – CNET

Put on your math caps, folks. Nerdle is here for you.

Screenshot by Amanda Kooser/CNET

I like math. I’m just very out of practice beyond calculating tips for takeout, which is why I find Nerdle so delightfully maddening. Nerdle is, of course, a Wordle clone. Except if Wordle were a human, Nerdle would be an android. Instead of sniffing out a five-letter vocabulary word, Nerdle challenges you to discover a mystery math equation.

I thought I would suck at Nerdle, but I discovered a secret: Read the rules. As with Wordle, you get six tries, but there are eight spaces to work with and you have a keyboard stocked with numbers and basic math symbols. The right answer (as well as your guesses) must be mathematically correct.

There’s more. There will always be an equal sign, but the number to the right of it will be just a number, not another calculation. If you enjoy arguing with friends and internet strangers about the proper order of operations, you’ll feel right at home at Nerdle, where multiplication and division come before addition and subtraction. 

Still with me? There’s one more important note. The order does matter. As the Nerdle folks say in the rules, “If the answer we’re looking for is 10+20=30, then 20+10=30 isn’t close enough.” If you make a guess and your space lights up green, you have the right piece in the right spot. If it’s purplish, it’s in there, but in the wrong spot. Black and it’s not in there.

If you’re already mathematically inclined, you probably vacated this article a few paragraphs ago and ran off to play Nerdle with wild abandon. If you’re still here, then you might just need some encouragement. Give it a whirl, whether you’re a math whiz or not. If it gets frustrating, then pop into the options and try out mini Nerdle, an easier mode with six columns. 

A new Nerdle comes along once a day, just often enough to limber up your brain without driving you to math madness.

And if you still have doubts about your math prowess, you should know that even Richard Mann — a data scientist, physicist and one of Nerdle’s creators — finds it challenging sometimes

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