Today's NYT Connections hints and answers — Monday, July 1 #386

NYT Connections
(Image credit: Future)

Looking for today's Connections answers? The Connections answers on July 1 for puzzle #386 are a smidge easier than yesterday's answers, with the Connections Companion rating this puzzle's difficulty at 3.2 out of 5.

Every day, we update this article with Connections hints and tips to help you find all 4 of today's answers. And if the hints aren't enough, you'll find all 4 answers below, with the category titles and the correlating words. Plus, we're including a reflection on yesterday's puzzle, #385, in case you're reading this in a different time zone.

Spoilers lie ahead for Connections #386. Only read on if you want to know today's Connections answers.  

Alternatively, visit our how to play NYT Connections guide for tips on how to solve the puzzle without our help.

Today's Connections answer — hints to help you solve it

Unlike our guide to today's Wordle answer, where we recommend the best Wordle start words as your strategy, solving Connections relies on identifying connecting categories among 16 words. Each category's difficulty level is represented by a color; yellow is the easiest grouping, and purple is the most challenging. Once you've made 4 mistakes in your guesses, the answers will be revealed, so hints can be helpful.

If you need hints to solve the groupings, then here are the themes of each, based on the order of difficulty:

  • 🟨 Yellow: Show the way
  • 🟩 Green: Scheme
  • 🟦 Blue: Seen on a U.S. dollar bill
  • 🟪 Purple: First words of Canadian provinces/territories

These hints should get you at least some of the way towards finding today's Connections answers. If not, then you can read on for bigger clues; or, if you just want to know the answer, then scroll down further.

Here's a larger hint: Today's puzzle is all about people who take charge — for better or worse. And while the Fourth of July may be just around the corner, today's puzzle should get you thinking about the entire North American continent. 

Today's Connections answers

So, what are today's Connections answers for game #386?

Drumroll, please...

  • 🟨 Show the way: Direct, guide, lead, usher
  • 🟩 Scheme: Con, hustle, racket, sting
  • 🟦 Seen on a U.S. dollar bill: Eagle, pyramid, seal, Washington
  • 🟪 First words of Canadian provinces/territories: British, Northwest, Nova, Prince

With the Fourth of July right around the corner, I figured there'd be at least one category themed to America this week. And I was right! But the Connections crew went one step further with a category about our neighbors to the North. 

To solve the purple category, I had to dig into the recesses of my brain to dig out what I remembered from high school geography class. It didn't help that, where I'm from, Nova is a common acronym for Northern Virginia, so I didn't immediately think of Nova Scotia. But once I realized Northwest wasn't talking about the Pacific Northwest, it all came together. 

The other categories were significantly easier. Usher and Direct seemed related, and once I started picking at that thread, the words Lead and Guide fell into place. 

Similarly, Con and Racket stood out as the obvious ones, with Sting and Hustle not far behind them. 

The blue category was the only other one that threw me for a loop. I couldn't tell at first if Seal was referring to the animal or the emblem, especially with Eagle right there. Pyramids and Eagles could be connected as national symbols of different countries, but with Washington also on the board, it definitely seemed related to the U.S. somehow.

Yesterday's Connections answers

Reading this in a later time zone? Here are the Connections answers for game #385, which had a difficulty rating of 3.7 out of 5, according to the Connections Companion.

The easiest category for yesterday's puzzle threw me the most. I got tricked up by Chestnut among the other tree-related words for Blue. Add that to the fact that I've never heard Saw used in the context of an old saying, and I was properly stumped at first. Thankfully I took a gamble with Adage and Maxim that paid off and got me back on track. 

Green had another red herring with Wood. But I was smarter this time around, with all the summer BBQs I've been going to making it easy enough to connect the dots between Charcoal, Electric, and Gas and see right through the Connections crew's trap.  

The previous two categories already got me thinking about trees, so Blue came together next. Purple became a rote fill after that, which was lucky for me because I'll be honest I don't know a thing about hot tubs. 

Alyse Stanley
News Editor

Alyse Stanley is a news editor at Tom’s Guide overseeing weekend coverage and writing about the latest in tech, gaming and entertainment. Prior to joining Tom’s Guide, Alyse worked as an editor for the Washington Post’s sunsetted video game section, Launcher. She previously led Gizmodo’s weekend news desk, where she covered breaking tech news — everything from the latest spec rumors and gadget launches to social media policy and cybersecurity threats.  She has also written game reviews and features as a freelance reporter for outlets like Polygon, Unwinnable, and Rock, Paper, Shotgun. She’s a big fan of horror movies, cartoons, and miniature painting.