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NYT ‘Connections’ Hints July 11: Clues and Answer for Game #396


While Connections is a relative new kid on the puzzle block, it has already proved to be phenomenally popular since its release to the public last summer.

The brainteaser was launched by The New York Times in June of last year and has quickly gone on to become the newspaper’s second-most-played game behind Wordle, another word-based puzzle.

If you have never played before, Connections challenges players to uncover threads connecting a series of words. Instructions on how to play the game are below. Clues and the answers for today’s puzzle are toward the end of the article.

How to Play ‘Connections’

Connections tasks players with grouping 16 words into four categories based on association. For example, a recent game linked the words “Attraction,” “Chemistry,” “Fireworks” and “Sparks” under the category “Romantic Rapport.”

Each of the four categories is labeled with a color, which also signifies their difficulty level. Yellow is the easiest category, followed by green, blue and purple. However, the puzzles are rarely straightforward, using homophones and wordplay, among other techniques, to keep players challenged.

However, the familiarity of the words used, and how often they pop up in modern life, are also difficulty factors, although less-common words aren’t only used in the harder categories. “Item overlap,” where one word can be linked to multiple categories, is another way Connections tests players.

If stuck, players can hit the shuffle button, which will mix up where the words appear on the screen.

A woman is seen using her smartphone. ‘Connections’ has become an online sensation since it was unveiled by “The New York Times” last summer.

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Wyna Liu, a crossword editor at the Times who was asked to develop Connections, recently told Newsweek, about her recommended tips for playing the game.

“My best piece of advice is to wait as long as you can before guessing,” Liu said.

“You may see the board and have completely identified the category, seeing five words that could belong in that category,” she added. “Don’t try to guess the four words in that category because, even though you know what the fifth member is, you won’t know which of the four it might not be,” which would ultimately waste a turn.

“Don’t do what I do, which is ‘rage solve,'” Liu said.

The answers for today’s Connections puzzle will be revealed at the end of this article, so scroll with caution if you want to work them out yourself.

‘Connections’ #396 Clues for Thursday, July 11

Newsweek has some hints to help you figure out today’s Connections categories.

Yellow: These words are associated with items we might use at school.

Green: Each of these answers is something of a synonym for necessary.

Blue: For these answers, think of moving from one place to another.

Purple: These words are often displayed in illuminated signs.

‘Connections’ #396 Answers for Thursday, July 11

Yellow Category: SCHOOL SUPPLIES

Yellow Words: Pen, Ruler, Scissors, Tape

Green Category: FUNDAMENTAL

Green Words: Essential, Key, Principal, Staple

Blue Category: TRANSFER

Blue Words: Give, Hand, Pass, Send

Purple Category: LIGHT-UP SIGNS

Purple Words: Applause, Exit, Recording, Walk

Did you guess the answers correctly? If so, congratulations. If not, there will be another opportunity to crack the puzzle tomorrow.

Connections is released at midnight in your local time zone. Newsweek will be back with another round of hints and tips for each new game.