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 Groups

Here are a few hints for the 355th Connections game to get you started:

  • Yellow: A collection of literature.
  • Green: Large geographic features.
  • Blue: Think vinyl.
  • Purple: Not stirred.

May 29th's Connections words.

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

  • Yellow: Corpus.
  • Green: Mount ____.
  • Blue: Components of an LP
  • Purple: Things People Shake

Today’s NYT Connections Answers

May 31st's Connections groups and word.

Corpus (Yellow):

Body, Canon, Oeuvre, Works

Mount ____ (Green):

Fuji, Hood, Olympus, Whitney

Components of an LP (Blue):

Insert, Jacket, Record, Sleeve

Things People Shake (Purple):

Hands, Maraca, Polaroid, Snowglobe

How Did We Solve This Connections Game?

May 31st wasn’t too bad, but it had one major red herring that threw me off immediately.

The first words I spotted were olympus and canon, and I immediately started thinking about cameras, which also fit with polaroid. Fuji was ultimately a dead end, though, since the camera brand is actually Fujifilm.

However, Fuji is a mountain, and luckily, hood, olympus, and whitney are too. The Green group was “Mount ____.”

Record got me thinking about vinyls, and that lead me to jacket, sleeve, and insert—all parts of an LP. The Blue group was actually “Components of an LP.”

Body and canon can refer to “a body of literary works.” That brought in works. Of the remaining words, I don’t recognize the word oeuvre at all, so I threw that one in for good measure. Together, body, canon, oeuvre, and works were in the Yellow group, “Corpus.”

That left hands, maraca, polaroid, and snowglobe. I wasn’t able to figure out the connection between them, but luckily I didn’t need to. Purple was “Things People Shake.”

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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