Today's Wordle 551 answer and hint for Thursday, December 22

Today's Wordle puzzle on a smartphone
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Whether you're a little stuck with today's Wordle and would just like to read a hint to set you on the right path or you're one letter away from losing your win streak and need saving right now, everything you need to solve the December 22 (551) Wordle the way you want to solve it is just below.

Almost… almost… and done. I was lucky enough to have a few yellows from the very beginning, but it was the third guess that made everything click into place today.

Wordle hint

A Wordle hint for Thursday, December 22

The answer to today's Wordle means to be very good at something in particular: a job, a skill—it doesn't matter so long as the person is extremely proficient at it. This term is also the name of Microsoft's popular cell-based office software. There's just one vowel to find today, but it's used twice. 

Wordle help: 3 tips for beating Wordle every day 

If there's one thing better than playing Wordle, it's playing Wordle well, which is why I'm going to share a few quick tips to help set you on the path to success:

  • A good opener contains a balanced mix of unique vowels and consonants. 
  • A tactical second guess helps to narrow down the pool of letters quickly.
  • The solution may contain repeat letters.

There's no time pressure beyond making sure it's done by midnight. So there's no reason to not treat the game like a casual newspaper crossword and come back to it later if you're coming up blank.

Today's Wordle answer

Wordle today

(Image credit: Josh Wardle)

What is the Wordle 551 answer?

Let's make Thursday a winner. The answer to the December 22 (551) Wordle is EXCEL

Previous answers

Wordle archive: Which words have been used

The more past Wordle answers you can cram into your memory banks, the better your chances of guessing today's Wordle answer without accidentally picking a solution that's already been used. Past Wordle answers can also give you some excellent ideas for fun starting words that keep your daily puzzle solving fresh.

Here are some recent Wordle solutions:

  • December 21: LUNAR
  • December 20: THIRD
  • December 19: SLATE
  • December 18: TAPER
  • December 17: CHORD
  • December 16: PROBE
  • December 15: RIVAL
  • December 14: USUAL
  • December 13: SPOKE
  • December 12: APPLY

Learn more about Wordle 

Every day Wordle presents you with six rows of five boxes, and it's up to you to work out which secret five-letter word is hiding inside them.

You'll want to start with a strong word (opens in new tab) like ALERT—something containing multiple vowels, common consonants, and no repeat letters. Hit Enter and the boxes will show you which letters you've got right or wrong. If a box turns ⬛️, it means that letter isn't in the secret word at all. 🟨 means the letter is in the word, but not in that position. 🟩 means you've got the right letter in the right spot.

You'll want your second go to compliment the first, using another "good" word to cover any common letters you missed last time while also trying to avoid any letter you now know for a fact isn't present in today's answer.

After that it's just a case of using what you've learned to narrow your guesses down to the right word. You have six tries in total and can only use real words (so no filling the boxes with EEEEE to see if there's an E). Don't forget letters can repeat too (ex: BOOKS).

If you need any further advice feel free to check out our Wordle tips (opens in new tab), and if you'd like to find out which words have already been used you'll find those below.

Originally, Wordle was dreamed up by software engineer Josh Wardle (opens in new tab), as a surprise for his partner who loves word games. From there it spread to his family, and finally got released to the public. The word puzzle game has since inspired tons of games like Wordle (opens in new tab), refocusing the daily gimmick around music or math or geography. It wasn't long before Wordle became so popular it was sold to the New York Times for seven figures (opens in new tab). Surely it's only a matter of time before we all solely communicate in tricolor boxes. 

Kerry Brunskill

When baby Kerry was brought home from the hospital her hand was placed on the space bar of the family Atari 400, a small act of parental nerdery that has snowballed into a lifelong passion for gaming and the sort of freelance job her school careers advisor told her she couldn't do. She's now PC Gamer's word game expert, taking on the daily Wordle (opens in new tab) puzzle to give readers a hint each and every day. Her Wordle streak is truly mighty. Somehow Kerry managed to get away with writing regular features on old Japanese PC games (opens in new tab), telling today's PC gamers about some of the most fascinating and influential games of the '80s and '90s. Much of her free time is spent writing about old, imported, and weird games for her own site (opens in new tab), giving herself a headache trying to code another short text adventure in C64 BASIC, or saying "Wow, I forgot I had this!" whenever she stares at a bookcase stuffed with games.