If you’re looking for the Connections answer for Sunday, September 24, 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 24, NYT Connections #105! Scroll to the end if you want some hints (and then the answer) to today’s Connections game.
By the way, 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.
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. 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?
There are some references to old TV shows, and to a modern video game franchise.
Here are some definitions of lesser-known words in today’s puzzle:
Hints for the themes in today’s Connections puzzle
Here are some spoiler-free hints for the groupings in today’s Connections:
- Yellow category – Whip something up.
- Green category – Show some backbone.
- Blue category – Peaches, peaches…
- Purple category – Let’s sit down and watch something.
Does today’s Connections game involve any wordplay?
Some proper names are mixed in with the ordinary nouns, so keep an eye out for that. Otherwise, there’s nothing too tricky in the way the categories are tied together.
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?
- A BUNKER can be a reinforced shelter, but today you might want to think about Edith and Archie Bunker.
- DINOSAUR and MUSHROOM might seem like they go with BIRD and FISH, but they are from a different universe entirely.
What are the categories in today’s Connections?
- Yellow: KITCHEN UTENSILS
- Green: VERTEBRATES
- Blue: SUPER MARIO-RELATED
- Purple: SITCOM FAMILIES
DOUBLE BEWARE: THE SOLUTION IS BELOW
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 KITCHEN UTENSILS and the words are: GRATER, LADLE, PEELER, WHISK.
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 VERTEBRATES and the words are: BIRD, FISH, MAMMAL, REPTILE.
What are the blue words in today’s Connections?
The blue grouping is the second-hardest. The theme for today’s blue category is SUPER MARIO-RELATED and the words are: DINOSAUR, MUSHROOM, PLUMBER, PRINCESS.
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 SITCOM FAMILIES and the words are: BUNKER, CLEAVER, PARTRIDGE, TANNER. (Those would be: All in the Family, Leave it to Beaver, The Partridge Family, and Full House.)
How I solved today’s Connections
Look, I know my taxonomy. BIRD, FISH, MAMMAL, and REPTILE all represent classes of living animals under the phylum Chordata, along with amphibians and some lesser-known creatures like tunicates. DINOSAUR could arguably be in that grouping, but the way dinosaurs are classified is not quite as straightforward.
In fact, when I saw DINOSAUR and PRINCESS, I couldn’t un-see them as elements of Mario games. MUSHROOM and PLUMBER rounded out the list.
Now I had peeled off one of the -ER words, leaving BUNKER, PEELER, and a few others. Rather than puzzling that out, I looked at PARTRIDGE, which is not exactly a commonly-discussed bird. As soon as I thought of the Partridge Family, Archie BUNKER and Beaver CLEAVER jumped out at me. I wasn’t sure of the last item in the list until I mentally crossed out the kitchen implements (WHISK, LADLE, GRATER, PEELER) to rule out everything but TANNER—the family from Full House.