Tue. May 21st, 2024

Connections is a game from the New York Times that challenges you to find the association between words. It sounds easy, but it isn’t—Connections categories can be almost anything, and they’re usually quite specific. If you need a hand getting the answers, we’ve got you covered.

What Is Connections?

Connections is a game from the New York Times. The objective is simple: sort 16 words into groups of 4. Each group of words will be connected by some common idea or theme. That common element could be anything. We have seen everything from games that rely on the number of letters in the words to categories that require you to spot an extra letter at the end of the word. Sometimes they’re references to economics, other times they reference fairy tales. There is no telling what sort of association there will be between words.

Once you’re confident you understand the connection, select 4 words, then hit “Submit.” You have only four attempts in total, so don’t be too guess-happy.

Hints for Today’s Connections Categories

Here are a few small hints for the 312th Connections game to get you started:

  • Yellow: Seen on a stroll down the road.
  • Green: Thinking about the Future.
  • Blue: Shorthand.
  • Purple: A metal precedes these words.

What Are Today’s Connections Categories?

The Connections game for April 18th with no words guessed.

If you still need help, the actual categories are:

  • Yellow: Sidewalk Sights
  • Green: Have in Mind
  • Blue: Unit Abbreviations
  • Purple: Golden _____

Today’s NYT Connections Answers

The April 18th game with all of the categories

Sidewalk Sights (Yellow):

Curb, Grate, Gutter, Manhole

Have in Mind (Green):

Aim, Intend, Mean, Plan

Unit Abbreviations (Blue):

Cal, Gal, In, Oz

Golden _____ (Purple):

Fleece, Girls, Parachute, Rule

How Did We Solve This Connections Game?

April 18th was a fairly straight forward game, though Purple might be a bit hard to spot.

The first category we spotted was Yellow, “Sidewalk Sights.” Curb and manhole were the first words we put together, and we looked for other related words. Grate and gutter fell into place pretty easily.

Next, we noticed the cal, gal, in, and oz were all shorthand for various units, so we stuck them in a group. Together, they were “Unit Abbreviations” (Blue).

With 8 words, left, aim, intend, mean, and plan all seemed likely to be related. They all refer to some kind of intention. They made up the Green category, which was “Have in Mind.”

Obviously the last 4 words fall into Purple, but what do fleece, girls, parachute, and rule all have in common? It wasn’t immediately obvious, but they’re all words that can go after “Golden.” Golden fleece refers to fleece from a special ram, Chrysmallos, in Greek mythology. Golden Girls was a television comedy that ran in the 1980s. A golden parachute refers to the severence packages given to senior or top executives when they retire—they’re famously very profitable. And of course, the Golden Rule refers to an ethical principle: Do unto others as you’d have done unto you. In other word, treat others how you’d want to be treated.

How Do You Guess Connections Categories?

There is no quick, reliable way to approach Connections like there is with Wordle, since Connections isn’t algorithmic. However, there are a few things to keep in mind that can help.

  1. Look for similar parts of speech. Are some words verbs and others nouns? Are some adjectives? Try mentally grouping them based on those categories and see if any other patterns jump out at you.
  2. Are the words synonyms? Sometimes categories will just be synonyms for a phrase, or very close to synonyms. Don’t rely too closely on this, though. Occasionally, Connections will deliberately throw in words that are sometimes synonyms to mislead you.
  3. Try saying the words. Sometimes, saying the words helps. One puzzle we saw included the words go, rate, faster, clip, pace, speed, move, commute, and hurry—all of which are obviously related to the idea of motion. However, when you say them, it becomes a little more obvious that only four (go, move, hurry, faster) are things you’d actually say to prompt someone to get moving.
  4. Expect the red herring. Connections usually has words that could be plausibly, yet incorrectly, grouped together. Take the words Bud, Corona, and Light, as an example. You might instinctively see those three words together and assume they’re lumped together in a category related to beer—but they weren’t.
  5. Look for distinct words. If a word on your board doesn’t have multiple meanings or can really only be used in one context, try using that word as the basis for a category.
  6. Shuffle the board. Sometimes, moving words around will help you look at them in new ways.

If you didn’t solve this one, don’t feel too bad—there’s always tomorrow! And those words may align with a topic you’re interested in, giving you a leg up on the competition.

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By John P.

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