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 322nd Connections game to get you started:

  • Yellow: Very strong.
  • Green: Smash
  • Blue: Distortion
  • Purple: A woman’s name.

What Are Today’s Connections Categories?

The April 28th connections words.

If you still need help, the actual categories are:

  • Yellow: Passionate, as a Feeling
  • Green: Bang Into
  • Blue: Analog TV Interference
  • Purple: ____ Mary

Today’s NYT Connections Answers

April 28th Connections board filled

Passionate, as a Feeling (Yellow):

Deep, Extreme, Fierce, Intense

Bang Into (Green):

Bump, Butt, Knock, Ram

Analog TV Interference (Blue):

Fuzz, Noise, Snow, Static

____ Mary (Purple):

Bloody, Hail, Proud, Virgin

How Did We Solve This Connections Game?

April 28th felt significantly easier than most days, but that is probably just an individual bias.

The first group I noticed was Purple, luckily. Three of the words were right in a line from the start, which made it much easier to spot all four: bloody, hail, proud, and virgin. They’re all words that go before Mary. Properly speaking, the title of the category was “____ Mary.”

The next group was “Passionate, as a Feeling” (Yellow). These words were all pretty obviously ways of describing emotions, though it wasn’t entirely clear what kind of emotion. However, it wasn’t really necessary to know in this situation.

As usual, with 8 words left, the remaining categories fell into place quite easily.

Bump, butt, knock, and ram all describe running or smacking into something, and none of them conceivably potentially pair with the other 4 words. Together they are words we use to express the idea “Bang Into,” and belonged to the Green category.

The final category was a little less obvious, likely because the terms are a bit less relevant these days. Fuzz, noise, snow, and static all describe types of “Analog TV Interference.” The connection to TV didn’t immediately form for me, likely because a few of them also apply to audio interference, too.

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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