There are two devilishly tricky categories today, so buckle up, it’ll be a fun ride! If you’re looking for the Connections answer for Wednesday, November 22, 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 November 22, NYT Connections #164! 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 references to an old but well-known movie, and some geographical terms. It will help to know that a GULCH is a narrow, steep-sided ravine.
Hints for the themes in today’s Connections puzzle
Here are some spoiler-free hints for the groupings in today’s Connections:
Yellow category – Valleys.
Green category – Shovel it in.
Blue category – Who’s the fairest of them all?
Purple category – See birds? Sea birds?
Does today’s Connections game involve any wordplay?
Yes. There’s a category that looks like the theme must relate to names, but it’s actually something far trickier that relates to the spelling of those words. (There’s also a category that’s tricky because the words all refer to a certain movie; that’s not wordplay but I have to mention that because it’s going to trip a lot of folks up.)
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 ambiguous words in today’s Connections?
A SCARF can be something you wear, like a COWL, but it is also a verb meaning to WOLF down your food.
A GORGE can be a geographical feature, like a RAVINE, or a shortening of GORGEOUS. But today, you’ll want to think about how one can GORGE on the food one SCARFs down.
To be BASHFUL is to be shy. BASHFUL is also one of the characters in Disney’s Snow White.
What are the categories in today’s Connections?
Yellow: AREAS BETWEEN MOUNTAINS AND HILLS
Green: EAT VORACIOUSLY
Blue: FEATURED IN “SNOW WHITE”
Purple: “C” + BIRD
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 for today’s yellow group is AREAS BETWEEN MOUNTAINS AND HILLS and the words are: CANYON, GULCH, PASS, RAVINE.
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 EAT VORACIOUSLY and the words are: GORGE, GULP, SCARF, WOLF.
What are the blue words in today’s Connections?
The blue grouping is the second-hardest. The theme for today’s blue category is FEATURED IN “SNOW WHITE” and the words are: APPLE, BASHFUL, MIRROR, QUEEN.
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 “C” + BIRD and the words are: CHEN, CLARK, COWL, CRAVEN.
How I solved today’s Connections
RAVINE, CANYON, GORGE, and GULCH are all sharp valleys formed by rivers, but I’m one away. I don’t think PASS fits as well into the theme, but it’s probably what I’m missing.
So I look at other meanings of my four words. GORGE can match with GULP, SCARF, and WOLF to mean greedily eating. 🟩 RAVINE, CANYON, GULCH, and PASS are indeed my missing group of valleys. 🟨
MIRROR, QUEEN, and APPLE strike me instantly as iconic elements of Snow White (Disney’s 1937 film, specifically); the title character’s dress also features a distinctive COWL. But just before I hit submit, I look at what’s left and realize that BASHFUL is also a character in that movie. So what do I remove from my movie set? Possibly George COWL, who Google tells me is a director of classic movies.
That was the right move. 🟦 I remember Wes CRAVEN from our group of horror movie directors on Halloween, which is why I wondered if COWL could be a director as well. I now google whether there is a director named CHEN (there are several) or CLARK (ditto). I submit the group, but I would have never guessed the theme–C words with a bird in them. 🟪
Connections Puzzle #164 🟨🟨🟩🟨 🟩🟩🟩🟩 🟨🟨🟨🟨 🟦🟦🟦🟦 🟪🟪🟪🟪
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!