Today’s NYT Connections Hints (and Answer) for Friday, October 27, 2023

Today’s NYT Connections Hints (and Answer) for Friday, October 27, 2023

Another tricky one! I found the first two categories easy, and the last two devilishly hard. But I also don’t watch much sports. If you’re looking for the Connections answer for Friday, October 27, 2023, read on—I’ll share some clues, tips, and strategies, and finally the solutions to all four categories. Along the way, I’ll explain the meanings of the trickier words and we’ll learn how everything fits together. Beware, there are spoilers below for October 27, NYT Connections #138! Read on if you want some hints (and then the answer) to today’s Connections game.

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 farther 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 sports references in here that not everybody will get. In terms of vocabulary, it will help to know that GALL is an archaic word referring to bile (a caustic substance produced by the liver to help digest our food). It lives on today in a metaphorical sense: It takes GALL to criticize someone to their face, perhaps.

Hints for the themes in today’s Connections puzzle

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

  • Yellow category – How dare you.
  • Green category – This isn’t the definition of the category, but I noticed these all have something to do with coins.
  • Blue category – Shooting hoops.
  • Purple category – This category might also include luggage, or telephone infrastructure.

Does today’s Connections game involve any wordplay?

No, but the purple category is a “things with ___” kind of grouping. I found it tricky!

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 farther down.)

What are the ambiguous words in today’s Connections?

  • BRASS is a metal, but it’s not with the metals today. Instead, you might think of the top BRASS at a company—or the GALL of the employee who barges in to their meeting to tell them that, say, Barbie is on the loose.
  • MERCURY is an elemental metal (as in, it’s on the periodic table) and it’s a versatile word found in plenty of other names: it’s a planet, a car, the lead singer of Queen, the magazine H. L. Mencken published, and the WNBA team the Phoenix Mercury.
  • A COPPER can be a police officer in an old gangster movie, or the metal that coats pennies. (Before 1983, the entire penny was made of copper. The story I heard was that they switched the core to zinc simply because the value of the copper would otherwise be greater than the face value of the coin. This 1981 article on the arguments for and against the switch paints a more complicated picture.)
  • CARS is a movie, but we don’t have a movie-themed category today. Think of what CARS, as a group, almost all have in common.

What are the categories in today’s Connections?

  • Blue: WNBA TEAMS


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 SHAMELESS BOLDNESS and the words are: BRASS, CHEEK, GALL, NERVE.

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 METAL ELEMENTS and the words are: COPPER, GOLD, NICKEL, SILVER.

What are the blue words in today’s Connections?

The blue grouping is the second-hardest. The theme for today’s blue category is WNBA TEAMS and the words are: [Phoenix] MERCURY, [Chicago] SKY, [Los Angeles] SPARKS, [New York] LIBERTY.

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 THINGS WITH TRUNKS and the words are: CARS, ELEPHANTS, SWIMMERS, TREES.

How I solved today’s Connections

I saw the metals first, but knew I couldn’t do anything with them until I narrowed them down to four. BRASS could go with NERVE though—along with GALL and CHEEK to mean arrogance. 🟨

We now have four metals (GOLD, SILVER, COPPER, NICKEL—possibly metals used in coins.) MERCURY is also a metal (and all five are elements), but I go with the coin grouping for a win. 🟩

At this point I’m stumped, but I realize I’m in a good spot to try just absolute, wild guessing. Five of the words are plurals, and three are not. (If they wanted to talk about elephants, the animal, they would write ELEPHANT and not ELEPHANTS. As a plural, it’s clearly part of some kind of phrase or specific reference.)

I have four guesses. If I’m right that the plurals go together, I have good odds of solving by simply using the three singular words together with one of the plurals at a time.

And, just like the last time I tried this strategy, my first guess was an instant hit. MERCURY, LIBERTY, SKY, and SPARKS (the one that best felt like it “fit” on a gut level) turn out to be WNBA teams. 🟦

The final category is SWIMMERS, CARS, TREES, ELEPHANTS. 🟪 They are things with trunks. The plural still feels a bit odd here, but hey, hard to argue with a perfect score.

Puzzle #138

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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