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Posted 2/22/23

Movie theater. Lights off, screen dark. Surround sound rises. 

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Movie theater. Lights off, screen dark. Surround sound rises. 

At some point, the game becomes your life.

It blinds you to everything else.

It consumes you.

You can’t just turn it off.

But in the end you get what you deserve.

You get

What you’ve been waiting for 

Ominous music, flashing lights.


Starring Burp and Fernie 

The faces of Sestina Street’s Burp and Fernie pop up on screen.

Fernie: B is for Burp, Burp! 

Burp: And F is for Fernie, Fernie! 

Both laugh maniacally.

Co-starring Tim Shanks, as YOU’ALL

Tim Shanks, in incredibly average den in incredibly average neighborhood, frowning as he stares at an incredibly average laptop open on desk in front of him.

And the Alphabet, as itself.

Tim is engulfed by rainbow-colored letters of the alphabet.

With special guest star The Countess

The Countess: That’s one correct letter! That’s two wrong letters! That’s four tries!

A five-by-six grid of boxes appears. The first row has one yellow box. Two boxes in the second row flash green.

You have the vowels. The vowels are there. The vowels are RIGHT.

The Countess: That’s 25 letters left!

A box in the third row turns red.

The Countess: 24!

A box in the fourth row turns red.

The Countess: 23! 

And you start to wonder, are there OTHER letters of the alphabet you’ve forgotten?

The Countess: HAHAHA, that’s SIX, SIX WRONG TRIES! Too bad!  

The boxes shrink and disappear.

But still you have to know.

Did you minimize the expected number of turns it would take to solve the puzzle?

And so you turn to—

In their feature debut as the official nagging companion SWORDLEBOT—

Moscar the Slouch

Moscar, sarcastically: Impressive vocabulary! You’ve narrowed it down to one possible solution, and should get it on your next move!

Oh. Not THAT next move! Yeah. Sure, “kyrie” is a valid word—uh, yeah, well, I don’t think so! Swordlebot didn’t mean that one! Swordlebot guesses you just don’t understand Swordle the way Swordlebot does! Swordlebot knew better than to think THAT would be acceptable.

Green, yellow, red and black squares randomly pop up onscreen and flash on and off.

The game has you now. 

And then it’s not enough. 

You have to try Antiswordle—but that’s only once a day. 

You keep moving on—to  Abswurdable, Quesdillasdordle, Daily Dualtrigirdle.


Globe appears with all the landmasses covered in swordle grids, the squares all green, red and yellow.

Globe crumples, collapses.

There is nothing left. But

Crescendo of “Also Sprach Zarathustra”

 In the beginning was THE SWORDLE.



If you DARE

Screen goes black.  

What reviewers are saying:

KP, Maryland: “Swordlebot gave my second guess a lower score than its guess, but my guess was right. Hahahahahaha.”

BF, Maryland: “Swordlebot is pretty much incapable of anything, but smart— cheater.”

DC, Massachussetts: “Swordlebot: “Your word left you with 45,000 possibilities. But my word narrowed it down to 2. Nyah Nyah.” 

LC, Pennsylvania: “Swordlebot is kinda a doodyhead.”

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