Wordle – the internet’s favourite word-based puzzle game – is keeping millions of us occupied as Ms Rona continues to wreak havoc on our lives. But turns out it’s keeping more than just our last remaining brain cells alive.
An 80-year-old woman from the US survived a home invasion after her family grew suspicious that she hadn’t sent them her Wordle score, which prompted them to sound the alarm that lead to her eventual rescue.
Denyse Holt, a retired teacher, and her eldest daughter Meredith Holt-Caldwell live on opposite sides of the United States (Chicago and Seattle respectively) but stay connected by sharing their daily Wordle scores over text.
When Holt failed to do so one morning, Holt-Caldwell grew suspicious and reached out to her sister, who hadn’t heard from their Mum either. Growing increasingly concerned when they found her landline had been disconnected, the pair enlisted the help of a neighbour to check in on her IRL.
Holt’s neighbour found nobody at the door when he went by to check on her, despite the fact that her car was parked right outside. The police were called and, after forcing their way in, found Holt shouting “I’m here! I’m here! I’m here in the basement!”.
It turns out that a 32-year-old man – who was arrested at the scene after a standoff that lasted several hours – broke in and woke Holt up in the middle of the night.
Naked and wielding a knife, he threatened to “cut her” if she screamed before backing down from his threats and asking her to help warm him up in the bath (this didn’t transpire).
The man went on to lock Holt in the basement without food or medication, where she was stayed trapped for about 17 hours before her rescue, according to CBS News Chicago.
Speaking of her ordeal to the same local news outlet, Holt said: “I didn’t send my older daughter a Wordle [score from the app] in the morning. And that was disconcerting to her. I’m very lucky.”
The man – who authorities believe has mental health issues – was charged with home invasion with a dangerous weapon, aggravated kidnapping while armed with a dangerous weapon as well as aggravated assault against a police officer.
Holt, thankfully, was physically unharmed and no doubt more than a little grateful to be hooked on Wordle like the rest of us.