Sat. Jun 22nd, 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 Groups

Here are a few hints for the 364th Connections game to get you started:

  • Yellow: Negative feelings.
  • Green: A light smattering.
  • Blue: Multiple levels in one thing.
  • Purple: Boil em’, mash em’, stick em’ in a stew.

June 9th Connections words.

If you still need help, the actual group names are:

  • Yellow: Grab One’s Attention
  • Green: Document with Video
  • Blue: Anagrams
  • Purple: Pretty ______

Today’s NYT Connections Answers

June 9th's groups and words.

Feeling Some Type of Way (Yellow):

Bitter, Salty, Sore, Upset

Throw Here and There (Green):

Pepper, Scatter, Sprinkle, Strew

Things with Layers (Blue):

Cake, Earth, Onion, Plywood

____ Potato (Purple):

Baked, Couch, Hot, Sweet

How Did We Solve This Connections Game?

June 9th was a pretty average game.

The first word I noticed was salty. At first I thought it might be related to food, but then I looked at upset and realized I was looking for words that describe negative emotions. After that, it was easy to pick out sore and bitter. The Yellow group was “Feeling Some Type of Way.”

Sprinkle and scatter are sometimes synonyms, and pepper and stew are conceptually similar. Critically, absolutely nothing else on the board is even close, so I stuck them together. Green was “Throw Here and There.”

I kept coming back to plywood for the entire game, since it seemed to be completely unrelated to anything else. It is a construction material and made of wood—what in the world goes with that? However, the connection between words became apparent when I considered the standout feature of plywood. Plywood is made out of multiple layers of thin wood that are pressed and glued together, which is what gives it its useful structural properties. However, the key here is layers. What else has layers. Onions. And cakes. And even the Earth!

Blue was just “Things with Layers.”

That left baked, couch, hot, and sweet. Saying them out loud made it way more obvious what the connection was: they’re word that precede “Potato.” Purple was “____ Potato.”

How Do You Guess Connections Groups?

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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