# Cracking the Code: An All-Encompassing Primer to Solve One of the Newest Craze in the New York Times.

Dive Into the World of Connections

The New York Times has gone and done it again. Less than a month after Wordle exploded into everyone’s consciousness, the paper has released another hothouse hit: Connections. It’s a word game, in which you must place 16 disparate words into four groups, each sharing a deep underlying (albeit not always immediately obvious) relationship. Every day, the puzzle resets at midnight; the difficulty varies; points and scores persist across days; and you can share all of this with your friends.

The Essence of Playing Connections

Mastering the Game Rules

In order to be good at his party trick – as the game became known – it helped to learn the mechanics first. There’s really only one thing to know about in order to play Connections well: its concrete goal is to sort 16 words into quartets, based on subtle or obscure connections between them that range from video game franchises to sequels of books in a series and – somewhat harder – from colours to the names of major chain restaurants. (Some words seem to fit in two or more categories. Note the ‘sometimes’.) There is usually one correct answer for each quartet, and you can shuffle the grid of words to get different perspectives on the connections you seek.

Decoding the Color-Coded Clues

The game teaches you this with a system of colours, so you know which group is easiest to decode (yellow), which is the next easiest (green), which is the next (blue), and which is the hardest (purple). Simply choose a four-word set, enter it and find out if you guessed it right. If right, the words are removed from the grid and the theme tying them together emerges. But if wrong, your fourth and final mistake, it’s game over.

Need a Helping Hand? Hints for Today's Puzzle

Today’s Sneak Peek

Stuck on an entry in today’s Connections puzzle? Wonder no more. We’re here to give you the nudge you need to get past the rough spots with the mere hint we can give you, just enough to get you going without ruining the fun.

Demystifying Today’s Connections

Having trouble solving today’s puzzle? It’s tempting to want to crack it on your own, but if you’re curious, we’ll leave the lights on and show you today’s answers, so you can get a good night’s sleep and feel prepared to attack tomorrow.

Embrace the Challenge Daily

Remember that part of the joy of Connections is that it changes from one day to the next. Your struggles today might become tomorrow’s easy solutions. A new set of words and themes beckons you in today, another tomorrow.

Editors’ Picks: Beyond Connections

Not to mention all of the New York Times puzzles that are already out there. NYT Strands, for those who crave a thriller with world-ending stakes, or the NYT Mini Crossword, for those who prefer something brief; the NYT Spelling bee, for those drawn toward the elegance of words; or perhaps the NYT Crosswords, simply because they’re there.

The Move Towards New Puzzling Horizons

The New York Times is a case in point, adding Connections to its regular output, after its own Wordle-like global craze. For all of us who are entering into the spirit of the thing, it reminds me of the challenge of working out Wordle, watching Letterboxd and Why Did You Buy That. It reminds me of the daily solver’s bright, impossible joy.

Uncovering the Move Behind Connections

Watching Connections take shape in The New York Times puzzle pages, it’s interesting to see a publication flex its muscles by adding a new puzzle to its weekly line-up in a bid to expand its niche and reach a whole new generation of gamers. Whether crosswords or Connections – the lines will continue to be filled in, and minds between the ages of 10 and 100 will continue to be engaged, challenged and enriched.

In short, Connections is not so much a game as the expansion of a Manhattan office block, a phenomenal investment in a global human community of thinkers, strategists and problem-solvers, all united by their love of a puzzle. So get out there, puzzle fiends and novices, and explore the Connections; you never know what connections you might make.

Jun 02, 2024
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