NYT Strands today — hints, spangram and answers for game #88 (Thursday, May 30 2024)

NYT Strands on a cellphone
(Image credit: Tom’s Guide/NY Times/Shutterstock)
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Need a bit of help with NYT Strands today? Today's puzzle — "Pump it up!" — is extremely cryptic, and had me lost even with four words on the board!

Below, we've compiled some useful hints for Strands #88, 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 #88, so read on if you need a little help.

Warning: Spoilers lie ahead for Strands #88.  

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

The official theme for NYT Strands #88 is... "Pump it up!"

And here's an unofficial hint from me: "Are you shoe-r about this?"

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

  • COKE
  • LICK

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

Scroll down to find out what it is...


Today's Strands answers

So, what are today's Strands answers for game #88?

Drumroll, please...

  • CONE

Strands #88

(Image credit: Alan Martin)

...and the spangram was HIGHHEELS.

Clues used: 1




Hi Strands fans. This was one of the trickiest puzzles I've encountered so far - not helped by the fact that everything I know about high-heel shoes could be written on the back of a postage stamp.

Initially, I thought the theme - "Pump it up!" - would be about inflatables or maybe music, but couldn't see anything related to either, so eventually caved and used a clue. That gave me CONE in the top left-hand corner, which meant nothing to me.

Nonetheless, I persisted, simply trying to come up with any plausible words. To my surprise, BLOCK, WEDGE and CHUNKY all proved correct, and I was now completely baffled. Is this about shapes, or what?

It was only when I got CUBAN that I discovered a word I associated with footwear, and thankfully enough of the board was covered for me to work backwards and get the spangram: HIGHHEELS, written from the bottom to the top.

That left two answers to find, and both were words I actually associate with high-heel shoes: KITTEN to the left, and STILETTO to the right.

Man, that was tough - but I'd be interested to know if readers with a better knowledge of shoes found it a doddle...

Yesterday's Strands answers

Reading this in a later time zone? You can find the full article on yesterday's Strands answers for game #87 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.