Wednesday, June 12

Today’s NYT Connections Hints (and Answer) for Saturday, October 21, 2023

Today is another tricky one, with all those dishes! If you’re looking for the Connections answer for Saturday, October 21, read on—I’ll share some clues, tips, and strategies, and finally the solutions to all four categories. Along the way, I’ll explain the meanings of the trickier words and we’ll learn how everything fits together. Beware, there are spoilers below for October 21, NYT Connections #132! 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 are a few tiles here that you may know as dictionary words, but that have something a little special behind their names. I’m not sure if I should count this as special knowledge, or wordplay.

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

  • Yellow category – Something to wash.
  • Green category – Something to reject.
  • Blue category – Something to take off at the end of a long day.
  • Purple category – Something that contains multitudes.

Yes, but I can’t think of a spoiler-free way to tell you what kind! There are some special words here. The all-caps styling masks the feature we’re looking at.

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.)

  • SPAM can be a barrage of unwanted emails, a song and skit by the comedic group Monty Python, or a meat product that comes in a square tin. (I am told one should waffle it.) The company denies rumors that the name is an acronym for Specially Processed American Meat, or Scientifically Processed Animal Matter; they suggest it was intended to be a portmanteau of “spiced ham.”
  • A CROCK can mean a dish made of pottery, especially a large one as in a Crock-Pot slow cooker. It can also be a synonym for bullshit.
  • While a LASER might bring to mind battles with a flying SAUCER, these are in different categories today. I’ll even go as far as to suggest you place the SAUCER with the DISHes.

What are the categories in today’s Connections?

  • Yellow: TABLEWARE
  • Green: NONSENSE
  • Blue: BRA PARTS
  • Purple: ACRONYMS

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 TABLEWARE and the words are: BOWL, DISH, PLATE, SAUCER.

The green grouping is supposed to be the second-easiest. The theme for today’s green category is NONSENSE and the words are: BALONEY, BUNK, CROCK, TRIPE.

The blue grouping is the second-hardest. The theme for today’s blue category is BRA PARTS and the words are: CUP, HOOK, STRAP, WIRE.

The purple grouping is considered to be the hardest. The theme for today’s purple category is ACRONYMS and the words are: LASER (light amplification by stimulated emission of radiation), RADAR (radio detection and ranging), SCUBA (self contained underwater breathing apparatus), and SPAM.

SPAM, BALONEY, and TRIPE are all meat products made of cuts that might otherwise become scrap, but I can’t find a fourth. BALONEY and TRIPE are often used to refer to BUNK, however, which one might also call a CROCK of…you know.

Not entirely confident, I decide to submit CUP, PLATE, SAUCER, and BOWL first. One away! Fine, then, let’s do BALONEY, TRIPE, CROCK, and BUNK, and save the dishes for later. That one was correct. 🟩

RADAR, LASER, and SCUBA stand out as acronyms. (SCUBA, for example, is a Self Contained Underwater Breathing Apparatus.) I don’t have a fourth, though. SPAM is often said to be an acronym, but the company denies this. After failing to come up with any other potential groupings, I decide to throw SPAM in with RADAR, LASER, and SCUBA, even though I know better. The game accepts this offering. 🟪

I hate to do this, but at this point I’m reduced to guessing. I have no idea what’s supposed to go with HOOK, WIRE, and STRAP. Let’s try CUP? Ugh, that was right. Bra parts. (I was thinking of, I don’t know, some kind of early telephone.) 🟦 Finally, we get to do the dishes. 🟨

Puzzle #132

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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