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 340th Connections game to get you started:

  • Yellow: Picture.
  • Green: Win.
  • Blue: Easy motion.
  • Purple: One word is something you put on a bed.

What Are Today’s Connections Groups?

May 16th Connections words.

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

  • Yellow: Photo
  • Green: Assure, As Victory
  • Blue: Move In An Effortless Way
  • Purple: ____ Blanket

Today’s NYT Connections Answers

May 16th Connections groups and words.

Photo (Yellow):

Pic, Shot, Snap, Still

Assure, As A Victory (Green):

Cinch, Ice, Lock, Secure

Move in An Effortless Way (Blue):

Breeze, Coast, Glide, Sail

_______ Blanket (Purple):

Picnic, Security, Throw, Wet

How Did We Solve This Connections Game?

May 16th seemed harder than May 15th’s game.

The first group I spotted was Blue, “Move in an Effortless Way.” The words were breeze, coast, glide, and sail. I didn’t actually connect them to physical movement at first, though. My original thought linked them to something just being easy.

Next I found Yellow, “Photo.” I also happened to open Snapchat as I looked at the words, which might have been what made me think of pictures. The words were pic, shot, snap, and still.

The next 8 words were tougher.

Lock and secure seemed likely to be related, and security was an extremely alluring third word, but it didn’t really fit. Without knowing anything else about what was going on, it seemed likely that the other two words were probably verbs. That left throw, wet, picnic, ice, and cinch. Cinch can mean “to fasten,” which is vaguely related to the idea of secure (in a physical sense). Ice can also be a verb that means “to secure victory.” Together, lock, secure, cinch, and ice were grouped into Green, “Assure, as a Victory.”

That left Purple, which must include picnic, security, throw, and wet. I didn’t wind up seeing the connection, but luckily I didn’t need to. The group was named “_____ Blanket.”

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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