Wednesday, June 12

Today’s NYT Connections Hints (and Answer) for Sunday, October 22, 2023

Sometimes I think about the person who wrote an article for Slate in July about how Connections is too easy, and I wonder how they’re doing now. Today’s another lively one, so if you’re looking for the Connections answer for Sunday, October 22, 2023, 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 22, NYT Connections #133! 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 farther down the page, I’ll reveal the themes and the answers. Scroll slowly and take just the hints you need!

If you watch The Great British Bake Off, you might get one of the categories more easily than the rest of us Americans. But there isn’t anything too obscure today, just a lot of words that cleverly span multiple categories.

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

  • Yellow category – Time to unwind.
  • Green category – This slaps.
  • Blue category – Some would say the name of this category is an oxymoron.
  • Purple category – Yep, that’s me. Bet you’re wondering how I got here…

Not exactly, but there’s a group where things are phrased a little differently than how you might be used to hearing them; and while the purple category is not officially a fill-in-the-blank, it might help to think of that way.

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 farther down.)

  • A BANGER can be a British word for sausage (as in BANGERs and MASH) but it’s also used to refer to music: to a song that is a BOP.
  • You might SCRAPE the bowl as you MASH some potatoes, while ROASTing something in the oven. But all three of these words are used as nouns today (and they fall into two different categories.)
  • PICKLE, JAM, and LOAF are not in food-related categories today.
  • A TRIFLE is an insignificant thing, or a dessert made with fruit, cream, and cake in a glass dish.

How To Make The Classic British Trifle. Perfect English Dessert

What are the categories in today’s Connections?

  • Yellow: RELAX
  • Green: CATCHY SONG

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 RELAX and the words are: CHILL, HANG, LOAF, LOUNGE.

The green grouping is supposed to be the second-easiest. The theme for today’s green category is CATCHY SONG and the words are: BANGER, BOP, GROOVE, JAM.

The blue grouping is the second-hardest. The theme for today’s blue category is BRITISH CUISINE and the words are: MASH, ROAST, SCONE, TRIFLE.

The purple grouping is considered to be the hardest. The theme for today’s purple category is STICKY SITUATION and the words are: BIND, PICKLE, SCRAPE, SPOT.

JAM and LOUNGE made me think of music; BANGER and MASH made me think of food. My first guess was inspired by HANG, though: you can HANG with someone, CHILL with them, LOUNGE around, or LOAF around. 🟨

Next, I saw PICKLE and SCRAPE next to each other, and realized these are things you can get yourself into—as are a JAM and a BIND. One away! You can also be in a GROOVE, or in a SPOT. So it’s time to shift gears. How about BANGER, BOP, GROOVE, and JAM? There’s our musical connection. 🟩

ROAST, SCONE, TRIFLE, and MASH are all foods, and I can envision them all being said by contestants on the Great British Bake-Off. (Americans would shorten a bowl of mashed potatoes to “potatoes,” while the British seem more likely to call it a bowl of “mash.”) I’m correct about the grouping, and the nationality. 🟦 Which means we have just gotten out of a PICKLE, a SCRAPE, a BIND, and a SPOT. 🟪

Puzzle #133

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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