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 Groups

Here are a few hints for the 334th Connections game to get you started:

  • Yellow: Also, spunk or temerity.
  • Green: Your canine friend wears these things.
  • Blue: Circular motion.
  • Purple: Legendary voices.

What Are Today’s Connections Groups?

May 10th's Connections words.

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

  • Yellow: Chutzpah
  • Green: Accessories for Dog Walking
  • Blue: Things That Spin
  • Purple: Lead Singers of ’70s Rock Bands

Today’s NYT Connections Answers

May 10th's Connections words and groups.

Chutzpah (Yellow):

Brass, Cheek, Gall, Nerve

Accessories for Dog Walking (Green):

Collar, Haler, Harness, Leader

Things That Spin (Blue):

Carousel, Globe, Record, Top

Lead Singers of ’70s Rock Bands (Purple):

Ferry, Mercury, Nicks, Plant

How Did We Solve This Connections Game?

May 10th came pretty easily, but that might just be because I spotted Purple first.

What do ferry, mercury, and plant have in common? They’re the last names of rock band vocalists from the 1970s. The group was properly called “Lead Singers of ’70s Rock Bands.”

Halter, harness, and lead first made me think of horses, since they’re all things that you might put on a horse. Collar is vaguely the same idea, but it doesn’t exactly fit, since the collar for a horse is usually integrated into the harness. However, the connection was close enough, so I took a stab at it. Green was “Accessories for Dog Walking.” Horses, dogs, what’s really the difference, anyway?

Gall and nerve jumped out next, and luckily I was thinking about them in terms of courage rather than their scientific meanings. With courage in mind, cheek was a reasonable fit, though it has a more lighthearted connotation, and brass was also an approximate fit. The Yellow group was “Chutzpah.”

That left carousel, globe, record, and top. Think about it as I might, the only connection I could see was “They all spin,” but dismissed that as being too broad. Turns out I was wrong—Blue was, in fact, “Things that Spin.”

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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