Wednesday, June 12

Today’s NYT Connections Hints (and Answer) for Thursday, October 18, 2023

Today is a fun-fest of F-word foursomes, and one of the trickier puzzles we’ve had lately. If you’re looking for the Connections answer for Thursday, October 19, 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 19, NYT Connections #130! 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!

There are some TV and movie titles, and at least one archaic word that you’ll probably recognize from English class. That would be FIE, a swear that appears throughout Shakespeare’s works, as when Ulysses says of Cressida: “Fie, fie upon her!”

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

  • Yellow category – Faux
  • Green category – For when you can’t say the other F words
  • Blue category – Fiction
  • Purple category – Flying along

There’s a fill-in-the-blank for the purple category, as we often have.

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.)

Before we get to that, I’d like to give one brief hint: The extra word that you’ll need for the fill-in-the-blank category also starts with an F. (Sadly, they didn’t get all the category titles to start with F; only two of them do.)

  • FIDDLESTICKS are the bows with which one plays violins, violas, and cellos. It’s also just a word we say because it sounds silly.
  • To FORGE something from metal is to shape the raw material into, say, a sword or a horseshoe. You can also FORGE a document or a signature instead of obtaining the real thing.
  • A FLEABAG is something that is full of fleas, or looks like it could be—as in a seedy motel, or an unkempt person. It’s also the name of Phoebe Waller-Bridge’s character in—you’ll never guess—Fleabag.
  • A FLIPPER is someone who flips something (such as a house), or the paddle-like limb of a cetacean. It’s also the name of the title character in a TV show that was sort of like Lassie, if Lassie were a dolphin.

Flipper 1964 – 1967 Opening and Closing Theme (With Snippet)

What are the categories in today’s Connections?

  • Yellow: FALSIFY
  • Green: MILD OATHS
  • Blue: TV SHOWS
  • Purple: FAST ____

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 FALSIFY and the words are: FABRICATE, FAKE, FIX, FORGE. (That’s “fix” as in fixing a boxing match—determining the winner ahead of time and telling the fighters to play along.)

The green grouping is supposed to be the second easiest. The theme for today’s green category is MILD OATHS and the words are: FIDDLESTICKS, FIE, FRICK, FUDGE.

The blue grouping is the second hardest. The theme for today’s blue category is TV SHOWS and the words are: FARGO, FIREFLY, FLEABAG, FLIPPER.

The purple grouping is considered to be the hardest. The theme for today’s purple category is FAST ____ and the words are: FASHION, FOOD, FORWARD, FRIENDS.

I recognize FLEABAG as a TV show that was popular a few years ago. No idea what it was about, but I remember everyone talking about (or wearing copycats of) that plunge-neck black jumpsuit. I recall watching the plucky crew of FIREFLY, and for some reason my dentist’s office always seems to be playing reruns of FRIENDS. To finish the foursome, I go with FARGO, which was both a movie and a TV series. One away! Dangit. FLIPPER is probably in the mix, but since I’m not 100% sure which one it should replace, I change tacks.

So, let’s get a fresh start with FRICK. Not many people outside of Pittsburgh are going to think of the robber baron who called the Pinkertons on striking steel workers, leaving seven of them dead or the park or museum named after him, so it’s just a word you say when you can’t say that other F-word. As are FIDDLESTICKS, FUDGE, and, for a Shakespearean flavor, FIE. 🟩

What else? FAKE as a verb can mean FABRICATE. We can also FIX a competition, essentially faking the outcome. I choose FORGE to go along with those, knowing it doesn’t quite fit. To FORGE something is to create it from raw materials, as a horseshoe or, metaphorically, a friendship. It does not occur to me, until I submit and get the category title FALSIFY, that it also means to fake a signature or document. 🟨

Down to the last eight, I have five potential TV shows, plus FOOD, FASHION, and FORWARD. Stumped, I go with FRIENDS, because that’s the one that looks most like a dictionary word, and my gamble pays off. 🟪 Finally, only FARGO, FLIPPER, FIREFLY, and FLEABAG remain, and those are my TV shows. 🟦

Puzzle #130

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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