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New York Times Connections game successfully tricks players with one category

‘Connections, what do you mean this was wrong…’

Brittany Miller
New York
Wednesday 21 February 2024 05:03 GMT
Related: Baseball announcers discuss Wordle during live broadcast

The popular puzzle game from The New York Times, Connections, has once again sparked outrage over one category that was assumed to be easy but was a trick.

For those who are unaware of the addictive game, Connections is a puzzle available on The New York Times website. It presents players with a grid of 16 words, and the task is to arrange the words into four groups of four by uncovering the “connections” between them. For example, these categories could be aisles in the grocery store or television networks.

Each group of connections is colour-coded based on the level of difficulty. The yellow group is the easiest, while blue and green have medium levels of difficulty. The purple group is typically the hardest one to figure out.

However, players are only given four changes to make each connection. If you make a guess and you’re incorrect, you’ll lose a life. But if you’re close to guessing the correct group, a message will appear on the screen telling you you’re one word away from getting the right pairing.

On Monday 19 February, the game stumped players with the four words: tinder, bumble, grinder and hinge, which everyone assumed were the names of dating apps. However, when people went to submit their answers, they were disappointed to learn that they were not even one word away.

Many people took to X, formerly known as Twitter, and TikTok to express their frustrations with why that wasn’t a category.

One TikTok with more than 300,000 views showed all of the words highlighted with text across the screen that read, “Connections, what do you mean this was wrong…”

Viewers agreed with the TikToker in the comments. “You know it’s messed up when I got the purple category FIRST for today’s connections (02.19) LIKE HOW,” one commenter questioned.

Another agreed, writing, “Me. But I put match cause Grindr doesn’t have an e. I thought I was smart with that too.”

Others posted their opinions on X, also mentioning that they thought the category was too good to be true, but they had to try it anyway.

“Nyt connections baited me with the dating apps red herring,” one tweet read.

“Today’s nyt connections having tinder, bumble, hinge and grinder but it not being the theme is criminal,” another tweet pointed out.

A similar occurrence took place earlier this month in the game on 7 February, when the first four words in the grid referenced everyone’s favourite sponge under the sea: “Sponge” and “Bob” and “Square” and “Pants”.

While the words were in reference to the iconic Nickelodeon cartoon, SpongeBob SquarePants, players weren’t amused by the apparent trick, as the grouping was not an answer to the puzzle. Taking to X, formerly Twitter, users shared their frustrated reactions to that Connections puzzle as well.

“I am not charmed by this,” one person posted on X, along with a screenshot of the Connections grouping, “Sponge Bob Square Pants”.

NYT Connections said, ‘Who lives in a pineapple under the sea?’” another user jokingly said.

NYT Connections you will pay for your goofy crimes,” a third person wrote, while someone else posted: “NYT Connections paying respect to a legend.”

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