NYT Strands today — hints, spangram and answers for game #78 (Monday, May 20 2024)

NYT Strands on a cellphone
(Image credit: Tom’s Guide/NY Times/Shutterstock)
Strands today: Quick menu

Need a bit of help with NYT Strands today? Today's puzzle — "Fowl fairy tale" — isn't immediately obvious, even if you are familiar with what it's referring to.

Below, we've compiled some useful hints for Strands #78, as well as the answers, should it come to that. We'll start off with some clues, before building up to the full answer for Strands #78, so read on if you need a little help.

Warning: Spoilers lie ahead for Strands #78.  

Today's NYT Strands answer — Today's theme and hints

The official theme for NYT Strands #78 is... "Fowl fairy tale"

And here's an unofficial hint from me: "A story from Hans Christian Anderson."

If you're still in the dark, here are some useful words to give you those valuable clue tokens:

  • WEST
  • LEAF
  • BAIT
  • SIFT
  • FITS
  • FELL

Still struggling? The spangram will give you a hint about the connection word. Today, it starts with 'U' and ends with 'G'.

Scroll down to find out what it is...


Today's Strands answers

So, what are today's Strands answers for game #78?

Drumroll, please...

  • SWAN

Strands #78

(Image credit: Alan Martin)

...and the spangram was UGLYDUCKLING.



Hi Strands fans. Not really sure what I make of this one. The words all feature in the Hans Christian Anderson fairytale 'The Ugly Duckling', but it feels a little bit tenuous all the same. 

Nonetheless, I got through it without using any clues, which means it can't have been too bad.

It helped that JOURNEY was spelt out reasonably easily in the top left-hand corner, and that MISFIT was immediately to its right. 

BEAUTIFUL coiled around beneath those two, and that made me see 'ugly' on the right-hand side. When that didn't do anything, I realized it was part of UGLYDUCKLING, today's spangram. 

Now I knew what the unifying word was, finding the last few wasn't too tough. MISFIT was the only answer left in the top half of the board, and SWAN was bound to be in the mix, given it's the main feature of the story. 

With those in place, all that was left was to tap out REFLECTION around SWAN for a reasonably easy win.

Yesterday's Strands answers

Reading this in a later time zone? You can find the full article on yesterday's Strands answers for game #77 right here.

Alan Martin

Freelance contributor Alan has been writing about tech for over a decade, covering phones, drones and everything in between. Previously Deputy Editor of tech site Alphr, his words are found all over the web and in the occasional magazine too. When not weighing up the pros and cons of the latest smartwatch, you'll probably find him tackling his ever-growing games backlog. Or, more likely, playing Spelunky for the millionth time.