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Today’s NYT Connections Hints (and Answer) for September 29, 2023
September 29, 2023

Today’s NYT Connections Hints (and Answer) for September 29, 2023

Reading Time: 5 minutes

Here are some hints to help you win NYT Connections #110.

If you’re looking for the Connections answer for Friday, September 29, 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 September 29, NYT Connections #110! Scroll down if you want some hints (and then the answer) to today’s Connections game. By the way, we’ve moved the basic ‘how to play’ instructions to the very end of the page—just a heads up in case you’re used to scrolling down a few screens when you open this post.

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!

Does today’s Connections game require any special knowledge?

It would help to recognize a few proper names. Most, but not all, have a Hollywood connection. (I only knew three of the four offhand, but I got this category easily anyway.)

You’d also want to know that TEMPO in music refers to the rhythm or speed at which a piece is played.

Hints for the themes in today’s Connections puzzle

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

  • Yellow category – It is essential that you get this one right.
  • Green category – Don’t put these in the trash.
  • Blue category – There’s an EGOT in here.
  • Purple category – This is a hard one to clue without spoiling, so I’ll suggest a few words that weren’t in the group, but could have been: HIT, and POETRY.

Does today’s Connections game involve any wordplay?

The purple category is tricky, as usual. This time, it’s about an alternative meaning to the four words. There is also a group based on proper names.

Ready to hear the answers? Keep scrolling if you want a little more help.

BEWARE: Spoilers follow for today’s Connections puzzle!

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.)

What are the ambiguous words in today’s Connections?

  • ROCK is a genre of music, a natural aggregate of minerals, or a proper name, as in Dwayne ‘The ROCK’ Johnson, or ROCK Hudson.
  • A KEY is the thing you open a door with, or the selection of musical notes with which a piece of music is played. As an adjective, it can mean important.
  • TEMPO is a musical term as well, referring to the beat of the music. It can also refer to the speed or pacing of other actions; a tempo squat is a squat performed in slow motion.

What are the categories in today’s Connections?

  • Blue: HUDSONS
  • Purple: WHAT ‘BEAT’ MAY MEAN


Ready to learn the answers to today’s Connections puzzle? I give them all away below.

What are the yellow words in today’s Connections?

The yellow grouping is considered to be the most straightforward. The theme for today’s yellow group is VERY IMPORTANT and the words are: CENTRAL, CRITICAL, KEY, VITAL.

What are the green words in today’s Connections?

The green grouping is supposed to be the second-easiest. The theme for today’s green category is RECYCLING CATEGORIES and the words are: GLASS, METAL, PAPER, PLASTIC. (That said, glass and many plastics are not recycled anymore in many municipalities, because it’s not profitable to sort them out from other recyclables—and our recycling infrastructure depends on for-profit companies deciding whether or not they feel like recycling stuff.)

What are the blue words in today’s Connections?

The blue grouping is the second-hardest. The theme for today’s blue category is HUDSONS and the words are: HENRY, JENNIFER, KATE, ROCK. Fun fact, Jennifer Hudson is the youngest woman to receive Emmy, Grammy, Oscar, and Tony awards. If you don’t know who Henry Hudson is, I have more on him below.

What are the purple words in today’s Connections?

The purple grouping is considered to be the hardest. The theme for today’s purple category is WHAT ‘BEAT’ MAY MEAN and the words are: ASSIGNMENT, DEFEAT, TEMPO, TIRED. If you’re unclear on that first one, it’s a term from newspaper reporting—a reporter’s ‘beat’ is the topic they are assigned to cover. You could say I’m on the Connections beat at MediaDownloader.

How I solved today’s Connections

I thought I saw more musical genres—METAL and ROCK—or at least musical terms—KEY and TEMPO. But unlike yesterday’s puzzle, the musical references don’t form a category. Instead, I found a set of four in CENTRAL, VITAL, CRITICAL, and KEY—so that’s the yellow group down.

Next I looked at the names. There were only three: HENRY, JENNIFER, KATE. Who else might be hiding on the board? I had ROCK on my mind as a name because my daughter told me last night that the character of Maui from Disney’s Moana, voiced by Dwayne Johnson, was partly inspired by the Rock’s actual grandfather. If ROCK can be a name, how about ROCK Hudson, to go with KATE Hudson and JENNIFER Hudson? Yep, that’s it. HENRY Hudson was the explorer that the Hudson River and Hudson Bay are named after. He is listed on both Wikipedia’s ‘Age of Discovery’ page and the ‘List of people who disappeared mysteriously at sea.’ (His disappearance doesn’t sound so mysterious, though—his crew mutinied because they were sick of exploring and wanted to go home.)

Where were we? Oh yes. GLASS, PAPER, PLASTIC, and METAL are all materials, and when I say them together like that, they’re obviously recyclables. Or used to be, anyway. That leaves DEFEAT, TIRED, TEMPO, and ASSIGNMENT. I didn’t get the connection there before submitting, but hey, a solve is a solve.

How to play Connections

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.

How to win Connections

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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