Sunday, June 23

Today’s NYT Connections Hints (and Answer) for Thursday, October 12, 2023

If you’re looking for the Connections answer for Thursday, October 12, 2023, read on—I’ll share some clues, tips, and strategies, and finally the solutions to all four categories. Beware, there are spoilers below for October 12, NYT Connections #123! 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 very well-known comic book character, and an extremely common (if now somewhat obsolete) everyday item. I knew these things, and yet I was completely unable to think of them when faced with the words in front of me. Make of that what you will. And if you get them, you’ll be smarter than me today.

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

  • Yellow category – Don’t let anyone see.
  • Green category – Do you have the time?
  • Blue category – We’re playing dress-up, but in a very specific way.
  • Purple category – You’ll need to jog your memory.

The purple category is a tricky one, as usual, but instead of a fill-in-the-blank it’s about a word that each of the four words is often used with.

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 HIDE can be the skin of an animal turned into leather, or the verb that you do when you play HIDE and seek. Today it’s the verb.
  • CROWN can be a fancy royal hat, or (as we saw the other day) a word for one’s head. Here, it’s a slightly more obscure meaning. If you have an Apple Watch and know that you access certain features through the Digital Crown (that knob on the side), you’ll be on the right track.
  • LASSO is not Ted Lasso (that was puzzle #99). It’s just, you know, a LASSO. To fling around and catch something with.
  • A MASK can be part of a Halloween costume or a Photoshop layer, but here we’re using the word as a verb.

What are the categories in today’s Connections?

  • Yellow: CONCEAL

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 CONCEAL and the words are: BLOCK, COVER, HIDE, MASK.

The green grouping is supposed to be the second-easiest. The theme for today’s green category is PARTS OF A WATCH and the words are: CROWN, DIAL, HAND, STRAP.

The blue grouping is the second-hardest. The theme for today’s blue category is WONDER WOMAN’S COSTUME and the words are: LASSO, SHIELD, SWORD, TIARA.

The purple grouping is considered to be the hardest. The theme for today’s purple category is THINGS THAT CAN RUN and the words are: CANDIDATE, FAUCET, MASCARA, NOSE.

This is the hardest one I’ve done in a while, and I burned through three of my four allowed mistakes before lucking out. If you found this one tough today, I’m right there with you.

I puzzled over the board for a while, seeing pairs or triplets that sort of went together, but weren’t enough. SWORD and SHIELD. CROWN and TIARA. You can DIAL or BLOCK a phone number. MASK, HAND, and LASSO are all selection tools in image editing programs. I kept looking at MASK, COVER, HIDE, SHIELD, and BLOCK as ways of putting a barrier in front of something, but couldn’t figure out which of the five was the odd one out.

Finally I noticed that a FAUCET and a CANDIDATE are both things that can run, as can your NOSE and, if it’s not waterproof, your MASCARA. 🟪 Even though purple is supposed to be the hardest category, it runs on tricks and gimmicks. If you see the trick, you pretty much know you have it.

I was absolutely stumped on the others, so I decided to try luck instead of skill. I submitted BLOCK/SHIELD/COVER/MASK and BLOCK/SHIELD/COVER/HIDE. Both gave me the message “one away.”

Still out of ideas, I did TIARA/MASK/SWORD/LASSO, thinking maybe these are Halloween costume items. One away. Since MASK was probably in the group with BLOCK, I swapped it for SHIELD and shocked myself with a hit: WONDER WOMAN’S COSTUME. 🟦

Now I could get BLOCK/COVER/MASK/HIDE 🟨, which only leaves DIAL, STRAP, HAND, and CROWN. I was utterly perplexed by that combo, even as I thought through “clock” and “phone” as things with DIALs. I somehow forgot the concept of a WATCH. 🟩

Puzzle #123

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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