Today's Wordle hints and answer — solution #989, Monday, March 4

 Wordle displayed on a smartphone.
Wordle displayed on a smartphone.

Wordle today: Quick menu

Wordle is open on a phone held in a hand. TRAIN and GRIND have been played, with the RIN in GRIND all green.
Wordle is open on a phone held in a hand. TRAIN and GRIND have been played, with the RIN in GRIND all green.

1. Today's hints

2. Start letter

3. Today's answer

4. Yesterday's answer

Today's Wordle answer is quite tricky. According to the New York Times' WordleBot, the average player completes Wordle #989 in 4.0 moves easy mode or 3.9 if playing to hard rules.

Each day, we will update this article with Wordle hints and tips to help you find today's answer. And if the hints aren't enough, we'll even give you the answer, in case you're really stuck or just haven't had time to complete today's puzzle. Plus, we are also including an analysis of yesterday's puzzle, #988, in case you're reading this in a different time zone.

So be warned: spoilers lie ahead for game #989. Only read on if you want to know today's Wordle answer!

Today's Wordle answer — hints to help you solve it

Our first tip is that you should use one of the best Wordle start words for every game you play. But if you want some more specific clues to today's Wordle answer, then here you go:

* By vowel, we mean A, E, I, O, U. There are other letters that are sometimes considered to be vowels, depending on how they are used.

Those hints should get you at least some of the way towards finding today's Wordle answer. If not, then you can read on for bigger clues; or, if you just want to know the answer, then skip down further for that.

Alright then, here's a larger hint: Today's Wordle answer might attract moths.

What does today's Wordle start with?

The answer to Wordle #989 starts with F, so combined with the hints above you should now have all the clues you need to get the answer and not break a Wordle streak.

OK, it's now time to scroll down for the answer…

Today's Wordle answer

The game Wordle displayed on two smartphones
The game Wordle displayed on two smartphones

So, what is today's Wordle answer for game #989?

Drumroll, please — it's FLAME.

Hello Wordlers. Today's puzzle isn't that tough. 'L', 'A' and 'E' are among the six most common Wordle letters, and once those are in place, there are limited options for the two remaining slots.

ORATE got me off to a decent start, with 'A' and 'E' immediately turning green. Still, given they're the most common characters in the game, there were still 50 options in play, according to WordleBot.

Plenty of WordleBot's best Wordle start words contain both those letters along with 'L' — and they faired especially well today. PLATE, PLACE, SLATE and DEALT all leave 14 possible answers, but if you were lucky enough to start with MAPLE, you'd only have two options left.

Wordle #989
Wordle #989

On my second go, I like to play a mix of the five next most common letters, which are 'I', 'N', 'S', 'C' and 'L'.

I saw a very efficient way of fitting three around my green letters, by playing SCALE. That turned 'L' yellow, leaving me with just nine possible answers according to WordleBot*.

PLANE felt a sensible choice next, but it was actually a bit disappointing. While 'L' went green, that only ruled out two possible answers, WordleBot says.

Thankfully, I got lucky on the next go. I typed in FLAME and won with that 7-1 shot. All the letters turned green for a four-turn win.

Hopefully you started your Wordle week well. See you tomorrow.


Yesterday's Wordle answer

Reading this in a later time zone? The Wordle answer for game #988 was STATE.

Hello Wordlers. Today is one of those awkward puzzles where a few answers can fit once you have your core letters in place. Fortunately for me, I had said core letters lined up on my very first turn.

That's because I played ORATE, which uses all five of the most common Wordle letters. That turned the last three green, and left just eight possible solutions in play, according to WordleBot*.

That made my choice better than most of WordleBot's best Wordle start words, with a few exceptions. Both PLATE and CARTE were one worse on nine, but I was beaten by both LEAST (seven) and SLATE (three).

Wordle #988
Wordle #988

I usually aim to play a mix of 'I', 'N', 'S', 'C' and 'L' on my second go, but with the last three letters confirmed, that was no longer a priority today.

Still, with PLATE, I managed to include 'L' from the list anyway. And, despite turning up no new letters, I also halved the number of possible answers to just four.

SKATE was my next pick, which turned 'S' green. The word had to be S?ATE.

With that proven, it was clearly a double 'T'. I typed in STATE and completed the puzzle in four turns.

Hopefully you did well today, Wordlers. See you tomorrow.


Previous Wordle answers

If you're looking for a list of older Wordle answers, we can also help. Here's a list going back 20 games.

  • Wordle #988: STATE

  • Wordle #987: URBAN

  • Wordle #986: FORTY

  • Wordle #985: IMAGE

  • Wordle #984: DEVIL

  • Wordle #983: SENSE

  • Wordle #982: OFTEN

  • Wordle #981: SMITH

  • Wordle #980: PIPER

  • Wordle #979: APART

  • Wordle #978: HEAVY

  • Wordle #977: BUILD

  • Wordle #976: MATCH

  • Wordle #975: PRICE

  • Wordle #974: RIDGE

  • Wordle #973: PSALM

  • Wordle #972: STASH

  • Wordle #971: ASCOT

  • Wordle #970: TALON

  • Wordle #969: SCRAM

  • Wordle #968: PASTA

Wordle tips — how to win at Wordle

The best tip I can give is to use one of the best Wordle start words. I can't stress this enough — it makes a massive difference.

Without one, you'll be scrabbling around in the dark trying (and possibly failing) to find the right five letters (or possibly fewer) out of the 26 possibles. But clever people (not me) have done the math and identified the best start words based on both frequency in English and frequency among Wordle answers. So use them!

Secondly, think about combinations, especially at the start and end. Some options are far more common than others — for instance, SH, ST, CR and CH all feature frequently.

Vowels obviously need consideration too: not all Wordle answers will contain more than one, but plenty do, and some even have three. A good Wordle start word should have used a couple, but if they don't feature you might well want to try another one or two on your next go. Plus, remember the Y — this sometimes acts as a surrogate vowel, and is easy to forget. It also appears at the end of plenty of words.

Finally, try out possibilities. So long as you don't press 'Enter' you can try possible answers to see how they look on screen. Put in likely letters plus any you know are definitely in the word, then mentally change one to the other available options. This technique has worked for me multiple times, and it's particularly helpful when the word in question is not an obvious one (like FJORD or ISLET).

But if you're still struggling with Wordle, check out how Tom's Guide's Wordle experts have honed their strategy after playing a lot of Wordle after it first launched.

We also have plenty of Wordle tips and tricks to share, like how we've analyzed every Wordle answer used to look for trends and have some further advice for you there. And if you're new to the game you should also take a look at our What is Wordle? guide.

What else should I know about Wordle?

Wordle officially launched in October 2021, but actually started in June of that year and celebrated its first birthday on June 19, 2022. (You can read my thoughts on the 5 things Wordle needs to improve if it's to keep us playing for its third year.)

However, it only grew in popularity towards the end of the year, then went viral in January as the world woke up to its charms. In fact, it proved so successful that The New York Times bought Wordle for a seven-figure sum in early February and the game is now part of NYT Games.

It's played via the NYT Games website here, and is entirely free. Both the NYT and the game's creator, Josh Wardle, have stated that it will remain free. Some people think that Wordle has got harder since the NYT takeover, but it really hasn't.

Wordle is a simple game in which your challenge is to guess a five-letter word in six attempts. Each time you guess, you're told which of your chosen letters are in the target word, and whether they are in the right place.

If a letter is in the correct place, it turns green. If it's in the word but in the wrong place, it turns yellow. And if it's not in the word at all, it turns gray.

There's just one puzzle a day, and everyone completes the same one. It resets at midnight each day. You'll find more information about the game in our What is Wordle? article.

NYT Connections

If you've solved Wordle and need help with other games from the New York Times, we suggest you check out our guide on how to play NYT Connections which will give you an overview of how the game works.

Wordle Alternatives

If you're eager for another game to pass the time while you wait, we've put together a list of the best Wordle alternatives.

Other Wordle alternatives to try are the ultra-stressful (but very good) Squabble and the soccer-themed, Who Are Ya?. We also like the geography-based Wordle clone Worldle, the Star Wars-themed SWordle and the math-based Mathler.

There are certainly plenty of options once you've finished Wordle for the day!