The New York Times Connections

Connections is a word puzzle developed and published by The New York Times as part of The New York Times Games. It was released for PC on June 12, 2023, during its beta phase. It is the second-most-played game that is published by Times, behind Wordle.[1][2][3]

The New York Times Connections
Developer(s)The New York Times
Publisher(s)The New York Times Games
Writer(s)Wyna Liu
Platform(s)Web, iOS, Android
ReleaseJune 12, 2023
Genre(s)Word game

Several figures associated with Only Connect, a British television quiz show, commented on its similarity to the Connecting Wall in the program.[4][5][6]


A partially completed game of Connections from March 12, 2024. The remaining answers are: "Also, And, Plus, With" in green for "Including", and "Daddy, Harlem, Howl, If" in purple for "Famous poems".

In Connections, the goal is to divide a grid of sixteen words into four groups of four such that the words in each group belong to a specific category (e.g., "dog", "cat", "fish", and "parrot" for the category "Household Pets").[7] The categories may involve wordplay such as palindromes or homophones, increasing the difficulty.[8] When a player successfully identifies a group, its category is revealed along with a color-coded difficulty level: categories are rated yellow, green, blue, or purple, with yellow being the most straightforward and purple being the most difficult. Each Connections game has one category from each difficulty level.[8]

For April Fools' Day of 2024, the game temporarily used emojis instead of words.[9]



The games department of the Times hosts an annual game jam in which participants suggest ideas for upcoming games to release to the website.[10] Connections had been in development for a year before releasing in its beta phase on June 12, 2023.[1][11] Wyna Liu, editor of the Times and Connections's puzzles, was inspired by cartoonist Robert Leighton, who made puzzles involving wordplay.[12]

See also



  1. ^ a b Valinsky, Jordan (August 28, 2023). "Move over Wordle, the New York Times might have found its next hit game". CNN Business. Retrieved September 4, 2023.
  2. ^ Miller, Chance (August 28, 2023). "Connections puzzle game comes to NYT Games app on iPhone and iPad". 9to5Mac. Retrieved September 4, 2023.
  3. ^ Silberling, Amanda (August 28, 2023). "Connections is The New York Times' most played game after Wordle". TechCrunch. Retrieved September 4, 2023.
  4. ^ Abdul, Geneva (June 15, 2023). "What connects Only Connect and New York Times? Game's similarity puzzles host". The Guardian. Retrieved September 1, 2023.
  5. ^ @VictoriaCoren (June 14, 2023). "Do you know this has been a TV show in the UK since 2008 ?! It's so similar I guess you must do?" (Tweet). Retrieved January 26, 2024 – via Twitter.
  6. ^ "The New York Times' Latest Puzzle Seems Awfully Familiar". Kotaku. June 19, 2023. Retrieved January 9, 2024.
  7. ^ Morris, Chris (August 15, 2023). "NYT Connections, and the company's quest to create the next Wordle". Fast Company. Retrieved September 4, 2023.
  8. ^ a b Liu, Wyna (June 26, 2023). "How Our New Game, Connections, Is Put Together". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved March 3, 2024.
  9. ^ Hart, Jordan (April 1, 2024). "The NYT Connections game got an April Fools' Day makeover, and users are freaking out". MSN. Retrieved May 29, 2024.
  10. ^ Amlen, Deb (April 10, 2023). "How We Make Games at The Times". The New York Times. Retrieved September 4, 2023.
  11. ^ Webster, Andrew (August 28, 2023). "The New York Times' new word game Connections rolls out on mobile". The Verge. Retrieved September 4, 2023.
  12. ^ Jeffrey, Joyann (August 29, 2023). "Connections is the NYT's new Wordle alternative. Here's how to play". Today. Retrieved September 4, 2023.