Thu. Jun 13th, 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 323rd Connections game to get you started:

  • Yellow: Getting Fit
  • Green: Horses also fit in this category.
  • Blue: Not a scientific Nobel Prize.
  • Purple: A common pollinator follows these words.

What Are Today’s Connections Categories?

The April 29th Connections words.

If you still need help, the actual categories are:

  • Yellow: Exercises
  • Green: Featured in Westerns
  • Blue: Leaders Who Received the Nobel Peace Prize
  • Purple: ___ Bee

Today’s NYT Connections Answers

The April 29th Connections words and categories.

Exercises (Yellow):

Bridge, Crunch, Dip, Squat

Featured in Westerns (Green):

Bounty, Cowboy, Duel, Saloon

Leaders Who Received the Nobel Peace Prize (Blue):

Carter, Gore, King, Tutu

___ Bee (Purple):

Busy, Honey, Queen, Spelling

How Did We Solve This Connections Game?

April 29th was a decidedly average game.

The first words I tried to put together—king and queen—proved to be a dead end. Abandoning them together, I decided to start with Queen, which turned out to be very lucky. Like usual, shuffling the board a few times helped. Honey, queen, and busy wound up together, and then the connection was obvious. You can place bee after those three words. With that in mind, spelling also jumped out. Busy, honey, queen, and spelling belonged to the Purple group, which was “___ Bee.”

For some reason, crunch and squat suddenly caught my eye, and that got me thinking about “Exercises,” which was the actual name of the Yellow category. With that theme in mind, bridge and dip are the only options that easily fit, unless one takes up dueling for exercise. You might quickly run out of partners unless you’re careful, though.

With 8 words left, the two other categories were both clear. Cowboy, duel, and saloon plainly fit together with some western theme, and of the other words, only bounty made sense with them. Those 4 words together are things “Featured in Westerns” (Green).

The last category, Blue, is much tougher than usual. It is also very lucky I abandoned king instead of Queen earlier, as I’m not sure I would have figured it out with so many words left on the board. What do Carter, Gore, King, and Tutu all have in common? They’re the last names of “Leaders Who Have Received the Nobel Peace Prize.” Their full names are: Jimmy Carter, Al Gore, Martin Luther King Jr, and Desmond Tutu.

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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