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Smarty Pants Rules


This page explains the rules to my games Smarty Pants 5 and Smarty Pants 6. For players of Wordle, the rules are the same. Wordle, in turn, is based on the board game Mastermind. Smarty Pants 5 uses five-letter words and Smarty Pants 6 uses six. Unlike Wordle, the user enters the date, or any date he wishes, to be assigned a unique word for that day. If you're not familiar with Wordle, read on.

The object of Smarty Pants is to deduce the word of the day, which I will call the solution. Solution words can be any valid English word in the games list. Proper nouns and plurals are usually not valid words. A list of the allowed six-letter words can be found here.

In Smarty Pants 5, the player gets up to six guesses to find the solution. In Smarty Pants 6, he gets eight.

For each of the positions in the player's guess, the game will award a peg, as follows:

  • Green = The letter in that position matches that of the solution and is in the correct position.
  • Yellow = The letter in that position matches a unique part of solution, but is in an incorrect position.
  • Grey = The letter is either not in the solution or there are more of that letter in the player's guess than in the solution.

There must be a unique association for each green or yellow peg. Green pegs are evaluated first and then from left to right in the turn. For example, if the solution is ZIPPER and the turn is REGARD, the player would get a yellow peg for the first position. The yellow in the first position indicates the R in the turn matches and R somewhere in the solution other than the first position. The player does not get another yellow for the R in the fifth position of the turn, because the R in ZIPPER was already accounted for in awarding a white peg for the first position.

Let's look at an example from the July 26 game of Smarty Pants 5.

smarty pants 5

My first turn I guessed STARE, as I always do. My analysis shows this to be the best starting word, although there is much debate about this. I find most people prefer ADIEU. To them, I suggest you say adieu to ADIEU. The score of my first turn was a yellow for the S and T. That tells me the solution has an S and a T, but not in the positions I put them.

My second guess was MIDST. I know a lot of words end in ST. Then I chose MIDST specifically because the M, I, and D were still in play. My score to that turn told me I was right about the S and T and the end. I also got a yellow for the I.

My third guess was TWIST. I could easily narrow down the "I" could be in the first or third position only. Lots of words end in IST, so I then had to think of any two letters for the first two positions that made a valid word. TWIST was the first that came to mind. Note that the yellow for T in the first turn did not preclude the possibility of two T's in the solution. The score told me I was right about the I in the third position, but wrong about both another T and the W.

My fourth guess was HOIST. This was simply the first word I thought of that ended in IST where the first two letters were not ruled out yet. The score told me I was right about the O. Just one more letter to figure out.

My fifth guess was FOIST, which, as far as I know, is the only possible solution. I was right.

If you are not opposed to a little cheating, the Farlex Free Dictionary is helpful at providing at list of words and begin or end with whatever letters you indicate. For example, the link will take you to words ending in OIST.