Today's NYT Connections Hints and Answers: Help for May 18, #342

Here are some hints, and the answers, for Connections No. 342.

Gael Cooper
CNET editor Gael Fashingbauer Cooper, a journalist and pop-culture junkie, is co-author of "Whatever Happened to Pudding Pops? The Lost Toys, Tastes and Trends of the '70s and '80s," as well as "The Totally Sweet '90s." She's been a journalist since 1989, working at Mpls.St.Paul Magazine, Twin Cities Sidewalk, the Minneapolis Star Tribune, and NBC News Digital. She's Gen X in birthdate, word and deed. If Marathon candy bars ever come back, she'll be first in line.
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Gael Cooper
2 min read
New York Times Connections word game

Need some hints and answers for today's NYT Connections puzzle? Read on.

James Martin/CNET

Looking for the answers to the May 18 New York Times Connections puzzle? To me, Wordle is more of a vocabulary test and Connections is more of a brainteaser. You're given 16 words and asked to put them into four groups that are somehow connected. Sometimes they're obvious, but the game editor knows how to trick you by using words that can fit in more than one group. 

And do you also play Wordle? We've got today's Wordle answer and hints, too.

We've also got some tips for Strands, a new game from the Times that's still in beta.

How to play Connections

Playing is easy. Winning is hard. Look at the 16 words and mentally assign them to related groups of four. Click on the four words you think go together. The groups are coded by color, though you don't know what goes where until you see the answers. The yellow group is the easiest, then green, then blue, and purple is the toughest. Look at the words carefully, and think about related terms. Sometimes the connection has to do with just a part of the word. Once, four words were grouped because each started with the name of a rock band, including "Rushmore" and "Journeyman."

Hints for today's Connections groups

Here are four hints for the groupings in today's Connections puzzle, ranked from the easiest, yellow group to the tough (and sometimes bizarre) purple group.

Yellow group hint: Double-named creatures.

Green group hint: Quick pivots.

Blue group hint: Time to play.

Purple group hint: Have a metal coil.

Answers for today's Connections groups

Yellow group: Animals whose names are two animals.

Green group: Sharp turns.

Blue group: Classic party games.

Purple group: Things with spring/s.

What are today's Connections answers?

The yellow words in today's Connections

The theme is animals whose names are two animals. The answers are bulldog, catfish, horsefly and turtledove.

The green words in today's Connections

The theme is sharp turns. The answers are dogleg, hairpin, switchback and zag.

The blue words in today's Connections

The theme is classic party games. The answers are categories, charades, fishbowl and werewolf.

The purple words in today's Connections

The theme is things with spring/s. The answers are clock, mattress, mousetrap and trampoline.