Okay, today’s puzzle is ridiculous, and breaks from tradition in a way I haven’t seen before. If you’re looking for the Connections answer for Thursday, September 7, 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 7, NYT Connections #88! 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
Table of Contents
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 be told how many of your choices were incorrect (but not which ones) and 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?
Yep. In fact, all four groupings relate to the same theme. I can’t say much more without giving everything away, but if you’re a movie buff (or lived through the 1980s and were even vaguely aware of pop culture) you’ll get most of them easily.
Hints for the themes in today’s Connections puzzle
Here are some spoiler-free hints for the groupings in today’s Connections. Or as spoiler-free as I can make them, at least:
- Yellow category – Cult classic.
- Green category – Animation innovation.
- Blue category – I’ll have what she’s having.
- Purple category – Post-apocalyptic.
Does today’s Connections game involve any wordplay?
You could call it that. There are no groupings here based on the words’ meaning. But they’re not fill-in-the-blanks or anything clever based on the words’ spelling, either. The four words of each category form a recognizable phrase.
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 categories in today’s Connections?
I can’t spoil the categories without spoiling the answers, so I’ll let you in on the theme: each set of four words is a movie title. You got hints about the movies above, so I’ll do another round of hints giving the year each movie came out.
- Yellow: 1975
- Green: 1988
- Blue: 1989
- Purple: 2015
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 and words are ROCKY HORROR PICTURE SHOW.
What are the green words in today’s Connections?
The green grouping is supposed to be the second-easiest. The theme and words are WHO FRAMED ROGER RABBIT.
What are the blue words in today’s Connections?
The blue grouping is the second-hardest. The theme and words are WHEN HARRY MET SALLY.
What are the purple words in today’s Connections?
The purple grouping is considered to be the hardest. The theme and words are MAD MAX FURY ROAD.
How I solved today’s Connections
WHO FRAMED ROGER RABBIT. MAD MAX FURY ROAD. WHEN HARRY MET SALLY. ROCKY HORROR PICTURE SHOW. I think I saw them in that order, but seriously?? These are the answers?? The fact that the words could also form movie titles had to be a clever diversion, right? I submitted WHO FRAMED ROGER RABBIT first, expecting to be told that of course that is not how this game works, and yet…it was.