There's A Wordle For Food Enthusiasts Now

Our attention spans can’t take one more Wordle variation, damn it!

On mobile devices, I've always been staunchly anti-game. I will never crush candy or till a digital farm or stoke the anger of birds. I look at screens enough throughout the day; my downtime is designed solely around activities that don't require excess swiping or scrolling. Then, of course, Wordle exploded onto the scene and ruined everything.

My mind is now a series of five-letter words and incrementally strategic deployments of same. When Wordle failed to thrill me, I supplemented with Quordle, a four-grid Wordle. Then Worldle, the world map guessing game. Then Nerdle, the equation guessing game. Then Heardle, the name-that-tune guessing game.

And now, after months of chipping away at my non-bescreened hours, my mind is further monopolized by a food-based version of the game that recently hit the scene: Phoodle (no, we don't know why it's spelled with a "ph" and not an "f"), in which you try to guess the food-themed word in—yes, you already know this part—six guesses or fewer.

What is Phoodle?

"Test your culinary expertise by guessing a food-related term, from appliances to famous chefs and more," reads the website's help page. Already, this feels like a wild swerve away from the core tenet of all New York Times puzzles: No. Proper. Nouns. If famous chefs are on the table, could the Phoodle solution just be, like, "JULIA" one day? Or "FIERI"? And if that's the case, are proper nouns fair game for appliances, too? Knowing that words like "FOODI" might appear doesn't exactly help eliminate viable options. And let's not overlook the most ominous part of the help page: "...and more." This widens the aperture disastrously, leaving you adrift in a sea of potential "FRITO"s and "BUSCH"s and "HMART"s. Who designed this game, anyway?

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Well, I shouldn't worry about it too much, because it seems like the game designers are keeping things simple at the start. Today's word—spoiler alert—is "bread," which is sort of the base of all food on earth. Yesterday's word was "apple." I appreciate having my hand held like this as I acclimate to whatever bullshit proper nouns the game might have in store for me later.

Three other compelling reasons to play:

1. When you win, the screen explodes in pleasing confetti. (Again, hand-holding.)

2. Wordle doesn't let you play more than once a day, so this is one more valuable way to fill the void and/or avoid all other responsibilities.

3. Martha Stewart gleefully posted about Phoodle on Instagram, saying it's "lots of fun especially if you love food!!!!!!" How can you argue with Martha and her six (6) exclamation points?

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Please, no one come up with any other word games. My commute can only contain so many.

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