Saturday, November 04, 2023

How I squeeze a bit more out of Spelling Bee

The Nov 3, 2023 Spelling Bee pattern. "BELIKE" was "Not in word list"

Many of us Wordle players have started playing some of the New York Times other games, like Connections, the Mini Crossword and Spelling Bee.

The dreaded "Solid" screen

A frustration with Spelling Bee is that once you hit SOLID, it kicks you out and only lets you continue if you have a paid subscription.*

The Spelling Bee Grid for Nov 4, 2023

I have found a way to wring a bit more out of the game by getting to NICE, which is one rank higher than SOLID. Here is how I do it:

  1. Click "Hints" to open the "Spelling Bee Forum"
  2. Scroll down to the line that indicates how many POINTS there are (144 today)
  3. Determine the number of points for a "Solid" by taking 15% of the number of POINTS (15% of 144 = 22)
  4. Guess words, being careful to not go over the number of SOLID points by concentrating on shorter words - 4 letter words = 1 point each, longer words = 1 point per letter - particularly avoiding pangrams because they are worth at least 14 points
  5. When close to SOLID, try for the pangram by consulting the Spelling Bee Grid in the Hints.because it shows how many words there are of each length for each starting letter and the pangram has to be at least 7 letters long (Spoiler alert for today - there is a 10-letter word that starts with "B" and there are 12 words that start "BO")
  6. Play a pangram and nothing else, if the pangram is worth at least 10% of the total score, you can make it to NICE and you'll see something like this:
Many people don't think much of "Nice", but apparently it's better than "Solid"


* I'll probably never pay to play games, but Google gave a bunch of us free 3-month subscriptions because we were so good about giving ratings and answering questions in Google Maps. I took advantage of this, but have to admit that getting to Genius on Spelling Bee 90 days in a row meant that a lot of chores did not get done around here.


zoom said...

That's very clever, but I just pay the buck a week for the subscription. :)

David Scrimshaw said...

Zoom, I suspect that this means you do not hear the words "cheap" or "stingy" as often as I do.

Anonymous said...

$0.75/week here. Compare that to your weekly coffee costs. You are right about the demands on your time - particularly for those last 2-3 finds. If you can manage just the genius level and be satisfied, things around the place can get done too. Consider it part of your healthcare as well. Sleep time, stress reduction. $0.75/week, rested, energized………think about it…….if we all did it, Ontario healthcare costs could plummet over time…….

My life otherwise is based on cheap and stingy though, I must say.