Phrazle extends Wordle to use phrases instead of single words. The phrases in the online versions are English idioms. Our version, named Phrazy, contains three lists: one a list of over 1000 English idioms, the second a list of over 700 highly rated film titles and third a list of just under 900 novels taken from the Guardians 1000 must-read novels. Players select which list to use.


We find that increasing the number of words also increases the fun of playing. Not only does the search for phrases rather than single words create an additional challenge but it lends itself to more varied solving strategies.

The program randomly selects a phrase from the current list and presents an empty grid which has boxes for the player to enter trial words in order to try to guess the phrase. For each trial phrase the program responds by colouring the entered letters: green a correct letter in the correct word in the right position; yellow indicates a correct letter in the right word but wrong position; purple a correct letter, not already coloured yellow or green, but in the wrong word; dark grey for letters not anywhere in the phrase. Letters can be entered via the onscreen keyboard or the computer keyboard. Players can choose which list to use, the number of attempts allowed (4 to 20) and the font size. A hint option shows which letters are not in the phrase.

Phrazy Example

Phrazy Example

A completed phrazy game. The player has managed to include all the vowels and Y in the first words and finds that A and T are in the correct positions. E, C, O H and Y are present in the phrase but in the wrong words.

Having excluded I, the first word must be A. E must be in the third or fourth words so try THE in the fourth and using two E's in the second word has helped to locate its position. The second try also fixes A, C, E and Y and reveals that W is in the third word. It also shows that H must be in the second word as it has been ruled out from any other. Working out how to include H in the second word suddenly makes the solution obvious. Note 'Catch Twenty Two' is possibly unique in that it is a book, a film and also, with a preceding 'A', an idiom, and hence appears in all three lists.


At the top of the display is a Toolbar. The jigsaw piece button at the left is a menu which has options for selecting the list to use (idioms, films or novels, the maximum number of attempts, the font size and for saving the current settings. To the right of the puzzle icon is the game icon used to start a new game, a wand which can be used to request a hint, and a sad smiley which is used to show the solution. Right again is a clock which ticks every 5 seconds. Letters can be entered using the keyboard or the onscreen keys.

As the words are entered the game checks to see if they are present in its list of recognised words. If not the word will be coloured red and the player must edit it until the completed word is accepted. When the last word of the trial phrase is entered the player should hit the "Enter" key to signal that the phrase is finished (until then the player can change it). The program then analyses the input and colours the trial words and the onscreen keyboard according to the rules outlined above.

If the player hits the Hint button the program will choose a letter that is not in the phrase and is still uncoloured. If such a letter exists the wand will change orientation and a further click will cause the chosen letter to be coloured grey so that the player can avoid it in further attempts.