Today's NYT Connections tips (and answers) for Monday, April 15, 2024

If you're looking for Connections answers for Monday, April 15, 2024, read on - I'll share some clues, tips, and strategies, culminating in solutions for all four categories. Along the way, I'll explain the meanings of the trickier words and we'll learn how it all fits together. Please note that there are spoilers below for the April 15 edition of NYT Connections #309! If you want some hints (and answers) for today's Connections game, read on.

If you want an easy way to return to our Connections hints every day, bookmark this page. You can also find our past hints there if you want to know what you missed in previous puzzles.

Below, I'll provide you with some indirect hints about today's connection answer. At the bottom of the page, I will reveal the theme and the answer. Scroll slowly and get the hints you need!

Theme Hints for Today's Connections Puzzle

Here are some grouped hints from today's Connections (no spoilers):

  • Yellow Category - No script required.

  • Green Category - Goo-goo-ga-ga.

  • Blue Category - Outside.

  • Purple Category - Cause and ......?

PLEASE NOTE: Today's connection puzzle has spoilers!

We are about to give some answers. Scroll slowly if you don't want to spoil the whole thing. (The full solution is a bit below.)

A note about the tricky part

MAKE UP is not a product you can buy over the counter.

NURSE is a verb.

The purple category is a fill-in-the-blank today.

What are the categories for today's connection?

  • Yellow: invent as you go

  • Green: things babies do

  • Blue: surfaces

  • Purple: ___ effects

Be extra careful: the solutions are as follows

Ready to learn the answers to today's connection puzzle? I've given them all below.

What is the yellow word in today's connect?

The yellow grouping is considered the most straightforward. The theme for today's yellow grouping is "INVENT AS YOU GO" and the words are: AD-LIB, FREESTYLE, IMPROV, MAKE UP.

What is the green word in today's Connections?

The green grouping should be the second easiest. Today's topic in the green category is what babies do and the words are BABBLE, COO, CRAWL, NURSE.

What is the blue word in today's Connections?

The blue grouping is the second hardest. Today's topic in the blue category is "surface" and the words are: MAKEUP, EXTERIOR, SHALLOW, SURFACE.

What is the purple word in today's Connections?

The purple category is considered the most difficult. The theme for today's purple category is ___ EFFECT and the words are: BUTTERFLY, DOMINO, PLACEBO, SIDE.

Here's how I solved today's connection problem

I saw IMPROV and paired it with FREESTYLE and AD-LIB, but I wasn't sure what the last word was. At first I thought of BABBLE, but then I saw COO and CRAWL and realized there might be a baby category, so I kept looking. I thought cosmetics and make-up were two potentially related clues, but then I realized that if it described cosmetics, then it would be "make-up" (a word). Makeup fits the other terms. ?

I went back to COO and BABBLE and then considered CRAWL and NURSE as other baby verbs. ?

PLACEBO reminded me of the term "placebo effect" so I looked for other words that also described this effect. I found butterfly, domino, and Sade. ?

The last four words, "superficial," "external," "shallow," and "surface," all describe superficial things. . ?

Connecting Puzzles #309 ???? ???? ? ???? ????

How to play Connections

I have a full guide to playing Connections, but here's a review of the rules:

First, find the Connections game on the New York Times website or in their game app (formerly known as the Crossword app). You will be presented with a game board containing 16 blocks, each with a word or phrase. Your task is to select a group of four blocks that have something in common. Usually they are all of the same type of thing (e.g. RAIN, SLEET, HAIL and SNOW are all types of wet weather), but sometimes there is word play involved (e.g. BUCKET, GUEST, TOP TEN and WISH are all types of lists: Bucket Lists, Guest Lists, etc.).

Select four items and click the Submit button. If you guessed correctly, the category and color will be displayed. (Yellow is easiest, followed by green, then blue, then purple.) If your guess is incorrect, you will have the opportunity to retry.

When you have correctly identified all four groups, you win. But if you make four mistakes before you finish, the game is over and the answer is revealed.

How to win connections

The most important thing to know about winning connections is that grouping is tricky by design. Expect to see overlapping groups. For example, one puzzle seemed to include six breakfast foods: bacon, eggs, pancakes, omelets, waffles, and cereal. But it turns out that BACON belongs to the same group of painters as CLOSE, MUNCH, and WHISTLER, while EGG belongs to a dozen or so (along with JUROR, ROSE, and MONTH). So don't click "Submit" until you've confirmed that your foursome contains only those four things.

Another strategy, if you're having trouble, is to look at words that don't seem to be connected to other words. If all that comes to mind when you look at Whistler is the painting nicknamed "Whistler's Mother," then you might get the idea. When I solved this problem, I ended up Googling for a painter named Cross, because Cross didn't fit any of the obvious themes either.

Obviously, another way to win when you're stuck is to read some helpful hints - that's why we share them every day. Check back tomorrow for the next puzzle!