Sat. May 18th, 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 339th Connections game to get you started:

  • Yellow: An Act of Congress or Parliament
  • Green: Lots of grass.
  • Blue: To the point.
  • Purple: Automobiles?

What Are Today’s Connections Groups?

May 15th Connections words.

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

  • Yellow: Bit of Legislation
  • Green: Grassland
  • Blue: Forthright
  • Purple: Car Companies Minus Letter

Today’s NYT Connections Answers

May 15th Connections with the words and groups.

Bit of Legislation (Yellow):

Act, Bill, Measure, Resolution

Grassland (Green):

Meadow, Plain, Prairie, Savanna

Forthright (Blue):

Direct, Frank, Open, Straight

Car Companies Minus Letter (Purple):

Aura, Buck, Doge, Hoda

How Did We Solve This Connections Game?

May 15th was a pretty average game.

The first group of words I spotted was Yellow, “Bit of Legislation.” The words were act, bill, measure, and resolution.

Next, I spotted the biome words: meadow, plain, prairie, and savanna. That was the Green group, “Grassland.” That seems very appropriate.

The next two groups were a bit harder. Strangely enough, the words aura, buck, doge, and hoda all jumped out at me as odd for some reason I couldn’t put my finger on. Without something better to go on, I guessed them together. They were in the Purple group (no surprise there), but the actual group name was “Car Companies Minus Letter.” Talk about a lucky guess.

That left direct, frank, open, and straight. They pretty obviously refer to “Forthright,” and they must belong to the Blue group.

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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