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Apparently I am now a “wordler”—someone that participates in the most recent puzzle sensation, Wordle. I am a member of a community of fellow “wordlers,” mostly just friends and family, that relish the opportunity to compete for bragging rights. That right lasts approximately 24 hours until the next day’s puzzle is released. It’s a simple puzzle, but hey, we are talking about a chance to assert your dominance over friends and loved ones, if even just for a short time.

As I said, the puzzles are simple. It begins—and ends—with the search for a five letter word. That’s it. No clues, like in a crossword. Your only weapon is command of the English alphabet and all the possible five letter words they can form. You get six chances to guess (or let’s say strategically guess, as to not make it sound like a waste of time) this five letter word. With each guess, the puzzle alerts you to as whether any of the letters of the word you guessed are actually part of the answer. Your masked results—as to not alert others to the correct answer—can be shared with your community. If it took you less chances than others, let the bragging texts begin!

Like other puzzles—and any other endeavor—the key to a solution is an understanding of the rules and the tools to lead you to the solution. Again, the parameters of Wordle are simply five letter words formed by the 26 letters of the alphabet. Pay attention now, as I am going to share my Wordle strategy based on these rules. My first guess is a word with as many different letters as possible. This strategy continues for subsequent guesses until I have revealed enough letters to make even more targeted guesses…Well, duh!, you may be saying to yourself.

However, my strategy is much like a Swiss army knife, the more tools you have at your disposal, the better opportunity to complete tasks. The more letters you use, the greater opportunity that the letters you need will become clear. I know, a bit of a stretch, but the Swiss army knife has become popular as a description for the ultimate tool to get the job done, as you will see in this month’s measurement feature.

In fact, the right tool for the right job has even pierced pop culture. In the first installment (the fourth episode, go figure) of Star Wars, a discussion of the Force and an upcoming clash with the Empire, Han Solo says, “Hokey religions and ancient weapons are no match for a good blaster at your side, kid.” By Mr. Solo’s account, the right tool for the right job.

And that is not the last Star Wars reference in this month’s Quality. As author Henry Zumbrun writes, “Decision rules are the Force of metrology. They guide us in our quest to make accurate and precise measurements, even in the face of uncertainty. But like the Force, decision rules can be complex and challenging to understand.”

Using examples from the first Star Wars movie, "Episode IV: A New Hope," Henry attempts to “demystify decision rules and make them more understandable for everyone.”

So check out his article, “The Force of Decision Rules,” as well as “Multisensor Metrology Systems: Quality’s Swiss Army Knife,” along with everything else we have to offer in this month’s Quality.

Enjoy and thanks for reading!