Semantle is a not so simple word guessing game. The not so simple part is that your hints are so coy. You don’t really get a hint unless your word is within the 1000th closest word.
I’ve been known to provide too much information when telling people about new discoveries. But not this time. There are no Semantle spoilers on this page. I will not announce the word of the day. I might come back and start tracking some of my game play info – maybe.
Here’s where you play the game. There’s only one secret word a day.
During a road trip from Syracuse to Louisville I started playing Samantle. It was game #44. My friend, the driver, told me to try it. We did not get close. Seriously, after maybe 150 guesses we never got a word that was within the top one thousandth.
Then I decided to read about the game. Yes. After the fact. It was fun reading the FAQ.
A few things I’m learning about because of this game:
- sentiment analysis
- What it means that word2vec is a “Tool for computing continuous distributed representations of words“
- data sets
- the machine “training” of billions of words! BILLIONS!
- pre-trained vectors
- There doesn’t seem to be as much difference between a synonym and categories as I thought.
The creator of Semantle is David Turner. I don’t know him personally but I do want/need to pay his generosity forward. His game has occupied me without being a total distraction and it’s made me think hard about the relationship between words. He said the best way to thank him is to buy some bed nets .
My personal Semantle goals/rules – no spoilers – I promise
(1) My goal is to guess the word in less than 100 tries.
I’ve done that most of the time and even less than fifty and at least once I won in 13. See I do need to keep better track. Or do I? what would I do with that information? There are people on Reddit tracking, bragging, boasting, comparing.
(2) “Yesterday’s” word is always my starter word. I use the previous day’s word to start just because it keeps me from overthinking.
(3) I aim to have more of my guesses be on the 1000 closest list than not.
(4) I don’t even look at the “give up” button! I made 190 guesses on one game and still lost. The clock was about to turn over to provide a new game and I just kept trying words.
(5) I guess in groups of 10 with a break between. I don’t want to fall into binge mode.
Long Haul Guessing Days
Dang it! More than 150 guesses!! I hate when that happens. but there have been a few times where the word of the day is elusive. Then when I know what it is? Well a few times I’ve been like WTF?
Day 60. It took me 230 guesses to pull a basic word out of my head. I’d been thinking around it for – well at least since guess 160. Anyway, that level of persistence pushed my average guess count up past 100. It’s now 101! I will now need to get the word in record time.
Weird things about Semantle
I don’t know the word <blah, blah, blah>. Sometimes, usually when I misspell a word I’ll get the red error message: “I don’t know the word -misspelled word here-“. But on puzzle day 58 (or maybe it was 59) anyway, I think it was glitching. For one it was moving super slowly. Some words it totally ignored when I put them in and pushed the “guess” button. Plus it didn’t recognize basic words like natural and friend. I felt like I was in a dystopian novel when it said, “I don’t know the word friend.” Then it said, “I don’t know the word natural.”
BTW – I checked both those words on another day and Semantle did know them. The world has not gone to hell.
Another “weird” thing is the share button. I push it and nothing happens. I started to check Discord once to see if anyone knew what was up but I got distracted and wandered off.
If/when I make a spin-off
Oh, I have some plans. I don’t have the know-how YET! :-0 I’ll figure it out though.