Sunday, June 16

Today’s NYT Connections Hints (and Answer) for Thursday, October 26, 2023

Today is another cute little puzzle, and not too hard—I’d even say it’s NIFTY. If you’re looking for the Connections answer for Thursday, October 26, 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 26, NYT Connections #137! 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!

If you don’t recognize NIFTY and NEATO as ways of saying something is cool, rad, hip, then maybe you should brush up on your retro slang. Everything else is pretty straightforward.

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

  • Yellow category – Bigger than before.
  • Green category – Groovy.
  • Blue category – Sudsy.
  • Purple category – Round.

Nope, nothing too 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.)

  • ACES can refer to multiple playing cards, or to something you think is peachy KEEN. Green’s Dictionary of Slang has a quote from 1901: “Those musicale things would be aces if the music didn’t set them back.”
  • A MOUNT can be a trusty steed, or refer to the action of climbing on top of it. You can also have MOUNTing debt or MOUNTing riches, as the pile (metaphorically) grows ever higher.
  • MARBLE is a stone that is often carved into grand sculptures or used to tile neoclassical government buildings. But the word can also mean a small round ball used as a toy.
  • A HEAD can be a body part, but today you might want to think of the FOAMy HEAD on a glass of beer.

What is Beer Foam? The SCIENCE of Beer Head

What are the categories in today’s Connections?

  • Yellow: INCREASE

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 INCREASE and the words are: BUILD, GROW, SWELL, MOUNT.

The green grouping is supposed to be the second-easiest. The theme for today’s green category is EXCELLENT, IN OLD SLANG and the words are: ACES, KEEN, NEATO, NIFTY.

The blue grouping is the second-hardest. The theme for today’s blue category is FINE BUBBLES and the words are: FOAM, FROTH, HEAD, LATHER.

The purple grouping is considered to be the hardest. The theme for today’s purple category is SPHERICAL THINGS and the words are: BUBBLE, GLOBE, MARBLE, PEARL.

Plurals are always intentional here; ACES tells me we’re looking at an exclamation of approval, not a hand of cards. It could go with SWELL, NEATO, NIFTY, and KEEN. I quickly eliminate SWELL because it’s the only word that feels like it might belong elsewhere—with GROW, perhaps? 🟩

Heck, I’m halfway to the next category already. SWELL and GROW are synonyms of MOUNT and BUILD. 🟨

Now we have an obvious grouping of BUBBLE, FROTH, LATHER, and FOAM, all words that could describe soap suds. But I’m one away! I should have known it wouldn’t be that easy. HEAD, as in a pint of beer, is probably in the mix.

So what’s up with MARBLE, PEARL, and GLOBE? Ahh, they are all iconically round and smooth objects, just like a BUBBLE. 🟪 That leaves FROTH, LATHER, FOAM, and HEAD for the suds. 🟦

Puzzle #137

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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