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An Open Letter to Wyna Liu, the New York Times’ Connections Editor. “But on those days when I don’t solve it… well, let’s just say those are dark days. I don’t sleep properly anymore. I can’t eat.”

Discussion  12 comments

Jason KottkeMOD

Speaking of, today's puzzle was hard, yes? For some reason it took me forever to get even the first row.

Catherine Brennan

It was hard but I got it. I never feel cheated by Connections; if I fail it's because I've been outsmarted not done in by a bad clue.

Jason KottkeMOD

I agree that the Connections puzzles are usually very well-crafted in that there's only one obvious solution. It may be very well hidden and riddled with red herrings, but it's there. But there have been a couple that didn't work that way, which was frustrating. All in all, Liu is doing a great job.

Jeremy Wallace

Yes. I gave up and then only went back to it after seeing that others thought it was hard too. Got it, but ... tricky.


(Mild spoiler alert!) I would not have gotten today's if I didn't already have a post-it on my desk that said, "always see if the first syllable is saying something."

Troy Ober

Yes, today's was unusually difficult and the fact that the Connections Companion rated it as only a 2.8 difficulty added insult to injury.

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John R Burnett

"The carefully arranged word placement forcing us to see your misleading phrases." Is this real, or do I imagine that the starting position is deliberately misleading? I often quickly click Shuffle before I can even read it. But, a case could be made that whatever words in the top row that they are trying to trick us with are more likely to each belong to a distinct category.


Damnit. And I thought I was sooo clever for immediately clicking ‘shuffle’ before looking at the words.

Richard Heppner Jr.

The starting arrangement IS deliberately misleading. Liu has said so before. (Though I can't find the article right now.)

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Jason KottkeMOD

See also the Chabon Method for solving Connections.

Rick S

Just being a math jerk, when you are down to the last eight words, there are only 35 options, unless you are worried about finding blue before yellow or whatever.

Alex Weinstein

Reminds me of the Otis Lee Crenshaw (Rich Hall) Scrabble Song.

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