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How to play NYT Connections? Tips and Tricks

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NYT Connections is a word puzzle game developed and published by The New York Times. It’s a daily game similar to Wordle, but with a twist: instead of guessing one word, you need to categorise 16 into four groups of four based on a hidden thematic connection.

Here, we discuss NYC Connections, how to play it, and a few tips and tricks for conquering the game. You can watch the video below or continue reading the article.

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What is NYC Connections?

Since 1942, The New York Times has been known for its crossword puzzles. However, in recent years, the NYT has expanded its gaming offerings to include games such as Spelling Bee, Letter Boxed, Tiles, Vertex, and the wildly popular Wordle, inspiring numerous imitations and variations.

In 2023, The New York Times introduced Connections, a game that has quickly gained popularity for its simple yet challenging gameplay. It is a daily logic puzzle designed and maintained by The New York Times. Playing online through the Connections website on desktop and mobile platforms is free. Alternatively, players can access it through the New York Times Games app, which hosts a collection of the publication’s various games.

How to play NYC Connection?

The basics

  • Gameplay: You are presented with 16 words on the screen.
  • Objective: Your goal is to identify the four groups of four words connected by a common theme.
  • Difficulty: Each group has a different difficulty level, indicated by colour: yellow (easiest), green, blue, and purple (hardest).
  • Feedback: After submitting your selections, the game reveals the correct groupings and highlights your mistakes.

Playing the game

Playing NYT Connections is simple but requires strategic thinking:

  • Analyse the words: Carefully read through all 16 words. Pay close attention to their meanings, synonyms, and potential connections.
  • Identify themes: Look for words with a common theme, category, or characteristic. This could be based on:
    • Function or purpose: Tools, clothing, food items, etc.
    • Origin or source: Countries, languages, brands, etc.
    • Properties or attributes: Colors, emotions, shapes, etc.
    • Wordplay or puns: Sometimes, the connection might be based on a clever play on words.
  • Group the words: Once you have identified potential themes, mentally group the words into four sets that share the same connection.
  • Submit your answer: Click on the four words you believe belong together for each group.
  • Review the results: The game will reveal the correct groupings and highlight any incorrect selections.

Remember, some words might have multiple valid connections. The challenge lies in identifying the most fitting theme for each group.

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Tips and Tricks

  • Think laterally: Don’t limit yourself to obvious connections. Sometimes, the theme might be based on a shared syllable, historical context, or even a play on words.
  • Try shuffling: Shaking things up can reveal new connections you might miss
  • Think Outside the box: Don’t just focus on surface-level connections. Words can be linked by shared sounds (rhymes, puns), historical context, cultural references, or brand names.
  • Leverage difficulty levels: Pay attention to the colour coding. Yellow groups are usually the easiest, while purple ones require more out-of-the-box thinking.
  • Visualise phrases: Words can have multiple meanings; consider them in context.
  • Break down the big words: Long words might hold the key. Analyse their parts to discover unexpected connections.
  • Learn from mistakes: Analyse your missteps to improve your ability to identify hidden themes in future puzzles.
  • Process of elimination: Once you identify a wrong group, analyse the remaining words and eliminate categories that wouldn’t fit the remaining words.
  • Don’t be afraid to guess: Sometimes, an educated guess can break through a mental block and lead you to the right connection. But be careful as you will get only four chances.
  • Keep practising: The more you play, the better you’ll become at recognising subtle connections and strategising your approach.

Remember, the key to mastering NYT Connections is to think critically, explore different possibilities, and have fun with the wordplay.

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Akash Singh

Akash Singh

Akash is a law graduate who likes to go for bike rides on the weekends soul-searching for answers to his many existential questions. You can contact him here: