Today’s NYT Connections Hints (and Answer) for Thursday, September 28

Today’s NYT Connections Hints (and Answer) for Thursday, September 28

If you’re looking for the Connections answer for Thursday, September 28, 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 28, NYT Connections #109! 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?

You’ll definitely want to know that CRUNK is a musical genre. Asked to describe it, Lifehacker’s editor-in-chief Jordan Calhoun says “basically think 2000s Dirty South-era Lil’ Jon, Ludacris, David Banner, Bone Crusher, etc.” Have a listen:

Lil Jon & The East Side Boyz – Get Crunk (feat Bo Hagon)

If you have never heard of CRUNK because you have no idea what the kids are listening to these days (or, you know, in the 2000s), the category that it’s in will be a tough one for you today. I can’t say more here without spoiling it, but I’ll drop some extra hints below.

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’s not gold.
  • Green category – It’s open season on these words.
  • Blue category – Something to listen to.
  • Purple category – These words hint at a bright and shining future.

Does today’s Connections game involve any wordplay?

There’s a fill-in-the-blank category today.

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?

  • TRAP is a type of music, like DRILL and BOUNCE, but today it’s referring to the kind of TRAPping you do to catch animals.
  • FORAGE can mean hay for horses, but here it’s a verb, meaning to go out in search of plants to eat.
  • A RAIL is a water bird, but that’s not important today. The word is referring to rails as in a railroad.

What are the categories in today’s Connections?

  • Purple: LIGHT ____


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 REFLECT LIGHT and the words are: FLASH, GLEAM, GLITTER, SPARKLE.

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 WAYS TO GATHER FOOD and the words are: FISH, FORAGE, HUNT, TRAP. If I may have a pedantic moment here, trapping is more often used to collect animals for the fur trade, collectively called furbearers, than to feed your family. Venison chili? Sure. Muskrat steaks? Can’t say I’ve ever been offered one.

What are the blue words in today’s Connections?

The blue grouping is the second-hardest. The theme for today’s blue category is RAP SUBGENRES and the words are: BOUNCE, CRUNK, DRILL, GRIME.

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 LIGHT ____ and the words are: BEER, BULB, RAIL, YEAR (referring to low-calorie beer, the things you put in lamps, small urban trains, and the astronomical measure of distance).

How I solved today’s Connections

CRUNK was a pretty obvious tip-off that there were going to be musical genres. I thought I had a layup with CRUNK, TRAP, DRILL, and BOUNCE, but that was “one away.” Where did I go wrong?

Well, TRAP can fit with FISH, HUNT, and FORAGE for outdooorsy activities. Which means GRIME can take TRAP’s place alongside CRUNK.

The rest were easy. FLASH, SPARKLE, GLEAM, and GLITTER pretty clearly went together. This game must be working its way into my brain, because I glanced at the remaining words—BULB, BEER, YEAR, RAIL—and said “oh, those are all things that can start with ‘light.’”

Puzzle #109

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