My new daily word-game passion is Knotwords.

My new daily word-game passion is Knotwords.

The popularity of Wordle has shown everyone how interesting a good word game can be (even if that game is not exactly new). But if you’re like me, the daily grind of Wordle has probably started to feel a little bit boring by now.

After months of daily puzzles, wordle unlimited‘s simple guessing game with five letters doesn’t have enough depth to keep a regular player going in interesting new directions. Changes that limit the number of words that can be used (like Lewdle) or add more games at the same time (like Sedecordle) bring back some of the fun, but they can only go so far.

I can’t say enough good things about Knotwords if you’re looking for a daily word puzzle with a bit more depth. The game, which has both free and paid versions, combines the jigsaw-like letter arrangements of a crossword puzzle with the positional logic of a math puzzle like kenken to make a truly unique and addicting brain teaser. After tearing through dozens of Knotwords puzzles for a week, I’m happy to say I still want more.

Come solve with me

You can sum up the basic rules of a Knotwords puzzle in one sentence: Place the letters in each “knot,” which is marked by dotted lines, so that every row and column of two or more letters makes a valid English word. This simple structure hides a complicated way to solve it, which rewards logic and a general understanding of how English words are put together.

Step-by-step instructions for solving a simple puzzle are the best way to show how that strategy works in real life. This one is early in the April puzzle book for the game.

Right away, I notice the “AE” in the upper right corner. Since there aren’t many English words that start with “AE,” let’s put “EA” there to start.

From there, we need to use two letters from the “TDS” in the lower right corner to fill in the last column on the right. You could use either “EAST” or “EATS” there. But if you said “EAST,” the knot would have to end with an awkward “DT” at the end of the bottom row. The most likely answer is “EATS,” which leaves the horizontal crossing word with the common “DS” ending.

With the “DS” in place, “ENDS” is the only word that really works with the “YNE” knot in the lower left, leaving a promising “NY” in the little divot. That leaves “PAGE” and “GAPE” as two strong options for the column on the left. But “GAPE” has an awkward G in the upper left corner, and neither “GILE” nor “GLIE” would work with the next knot going across. “PAGE,” on the other hand, lets you choose between “PILE” and “PLIE.” Let’s try “PILE” first.

The only thing left is the knot in the middle. The “RO” stands out right away as a way to connect the “I” and “NY” in “IRONY.” From there, the last letters fit together beautifully, making the words “AREA,” “GOAT,” and “LEAD.” The puzzle is done—Well done!”


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