Monday, July 22

Today’s NYT Connections Hints (and Answer) for Saturday, October 14, 2023

If you’re looking for the Connections answer for Saturday, October 14, read on—I’ll share some clues, tips, and strategies, and finally the solutions to all four categories. I’ll also explain the tricky words, with some fun facts along the way. Beware, there are spoilers below for October 14, NYT Connections #125! Read on if you want some hints (and then the answer) to today’s Connections game.

If you want an easy way to come back to our Connections hints every day, bookmark this page. You can also find our past hints there as well, in case you want to know what you missed in a previous puzzle.

Below, I’ll give you some oblique hints at today’s Connections answers. And further down the page, I’ll reveal the themes and the answers. Scroll slowly and take just the hints you need!

There’s a grouping that’s reminiscent of the analog wristwatch from the other day; it relates to a semi-obsolete everyday object. There are also some slang terms for a few other common everyday sights.

Here’s a definitions of one word that might count as lesser-known (we’ll have the ambiguous words further down):

  • SWAG can refer to gifts handed out at a conference or similar gathering; the etymology is unclear but I like the idea that it’s an abbreviation of “stuff we all get.” The word can also refer to “swagger,” as in the attitude, or, in an older sense, to a decorative drape of cloth.

Here are some spoiler-free hints for the groupings in today’s Connections:

  • Yellow category – You might get rear-ended.
  • Green category – Give me a ring.
  • Blue category – Your place or mine?
  • Purple category – Buried treasure.

Just the usual ambiguity, nothing too weird or tricky today.

Ready to hear the answers? Keep scrolling if you want a little more help.

We’re about to give away some of the answers. Scroll slowly if you don’t want the whole thing spoiled. (The full solution is a bit further down.)

  • A JOINT can be a part of your body or machinery; a cannabis cigarette; or an establishment of various sorts, as in a “burger JOINT” or the place you’re sitting when you say “let’s blow this JOINT.”
  • Your BOOTY can be your BOTTOM, or it can be the treasure that a pirate carries home as LOOT.
  • CRIB and CRADLE don’t go together today, and neither one refers to a place where a baby sleeps.
  • A PAD can be a lot of things, but today you might want to think of a bachelor PAD, the place where an unmarried man might have his DIGS. Sadly I could not find a video of Esquivel’s full album entitled Space Age Bachelor Pad Music, but here’s the opening track:

What are the categories in today’s Connections?

  • Yellow: BUTT
  • Purple: PLUNDER

Ready to learn the answers to today’s Connections puzzle? I give them all away below.

The yellow grouping is considered to be the most straightforward. The theme for today’s yellow group is BUTT and the words are: BOTTOM, BUNS, SEAT, TAIL.

The green grouping is supposed to be the second-easiest. The theme for today’s green category is ROTARY PHONE PARTS and the words are: CORD, CRADLE, DIAL, HANDSET. (On a desk phone, Trimline, or princess phone, the CRADLE is the place you put the HANDSET when you hang up.)

The blue grouping is the second-hardest. The theme for today’s blue category is SLANG FOR HOME and the words are: CRIB, DIGS, JOINT, PAD.

The purple grouping is considered to be the hardest. The theme for today’s purple category is PLUNDER and the words are: BOOTY, LOOT, SPOILS, SWAG.

Alright, now DIAL is referring to the thing on the phone. (You’ll recall that on Thursday, DIAL was part of a wristwatch, and I kept thinking of rotary phones instead.) It goes with CORD, CRADLE, and HANDSET, an easy grouping if you were born before 1985 or so. 🟩

I sped through this one. SWAG, BOOTY, LOOT, and SPOILS are all ways you might describe your Halloween candy haul, or similar winnings. 🟪 Your CRIB, your PAD, and your DIGS are all cool ways to refer to a place you live; a JOINT can be a place as well, although I would normally think of a JOINT as a business or meeting place (for example, a juke JOINT) rather than a home. Close enough. 🟦

Finally, we’re left with SEAT, BOTTOM, TAIL, and BUNS. They’re your butt, OK? My second-grader likes to solve these puzzles in the evenings (I help, as needed) and mannnn she is going to enjoy this one. 🟨

Puzzle #125

I have a full guide to playing Connections, but here’s a refresher on the rules:

First, find the Connections game either on the New York Times website or in their Crossword app. You’ll see a game board with 16 tiles, each with one word or phrase. Your job is to select a group of four tiles that have something in common. Often they are all the same type of thing (for example: RAIN, SLEET, HAIL, and SNOW are all types of wet weather) but sometimes there is wordplay involved (for example, BUCKET, GUEST, TOP TEN, and WISH are all types of lists: bucket list, guest list, and so on).

Select four items and hit the Submit button. If you guessed correctly, the category and color will be revealed. (Yellow is easiest, followed by green, then blue, then purple.) If your guess was incorrect, you’ll get a chance to try again.

You win when you’ve correctly identified all four groups. But if you make four mistakes before you finish, the game ends and the answers are revealed.

The most important thing to know to win Connections is that the groupings are designed to be tricky. Expect to see overlapping groups. For example, one puzzle seemed to include six breakfast foods: BACON, EGG, PANCAKE, OMELET, WAFFLE, and CEREAL. But BACON turned out to be part of a group of painters along with CLOSE, MUNCH, and WHISTLER, and EGG was in a group of things that come by the dozen (along with JUROR, ROSE, and MONTH). So don’t hit “submit” until you’ve confirmed that your group of four contains only those four things.

If you’re stuck, another strategy is to look at the words that seem to have no connection to the others. If all that comes to mind when you see WHISTLER is the painting nicknamed “Whistler’s Mother,” you might be on to something. When I solved that one, I ended up googling whether there was a painter named Close, because Close didn’t fit any of the obvious themes, either.

Another way to win when you’re stuck is, obviously, to read a few helpful hints–which is why we share these pointers every day. Check back tomorrow for the next puzzle!

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