Today's NYT Connections hints and answers — Sunday, July 7, #392

NYT Connections
(Image credit: Future)

Looking for today's Connections answers? The Connections answers on July 7 for puzzle #392 are significantly tougher than yesterday's, with the Connections Companion rating this puzzle's difficulty at 4.2 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, #391, in case you're reading this in a different time zone.

Spoilers lie ahead for Connections #392. 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: Change states of matter
  • 🟩 Green: Replacement
  • 🟦 Blue: Slangy names for professions
  • 🟪 Purple: Mariah Carey number one hits

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 might get you thinking about superheroes, but don't fall for it. These categories are much closer to Earth, atomically so, and all too human. 

Today's Connections answers

So, what are today's Connections answers for game #392?

Drumroll, please...

  • 🟨 Change states of matter: Condense, freeze, melt, vaporize
  • 🟩 Replacement: Alternate, backup, cover, sub
  • 🟦 Slangy names for professions: Copper, hack, shrink, suit
  • 🟪 Mariah Carey number one hits: Fantasy, hero, honey, someday

That 4.2 rating was no joke: Today's puzzle was a tough one. Words like suit, hero and vaporize had visions of Superman rattling around in my head, but that turned out to be a red herring. I forgot that vaporize isn't just reserved for laser eyes. However, once the high school science class definition came back to me, the other three in Yellow — condense, freeze, and melt — fell into place. 

Green was a little more straightforward. First I clocked the connection between alternate and backup, which then led me to sub. It took me longer to figure out that the fourth was cover (I suspect I wasn't entirely free of my superhero line of thinking yet). 

Blue came together nicely after that. Once I realized suit meant the boring Wall Street kind and not the emblemed spandex kind, shrink jumped out to me immediately. Hack came after, but then I struggled yet again with the fourth. The Yellow category got me thinking about science, so it took a second to remember copper meant anything other than what pennies are made of. 

Purple was a rote fill, which worked out great for me because the only Mariah Carey song I know off the top of my head is "All I Want for Christmas Is You." 

Yesterday's Connections answers

Reading this in a later time zone? Here are the Connections answers for game #391, which had a difficulty rating of 3.2 out of 5, according to the Connections Companion.

My colleague Scott recently welcomed a little bundle of joy into the family, so the green category was immediate to him as that's basically his life right now; crib, bottle, mobile, rattle.

It was only after he finished the category that he saw the smartphone trap that was laid in the puzzle. That ended up being a good thing, as he skipped right over that one, but it's one to look out for as you start this puzzle.

He did use the synonyms for mobile phone as launching points for other categories. This is how he got the yellow category starting with cell, then quickly nabbing atom, molecule and protein. 

Once you have the yellow and green category, it's a coinflip between which one might grab you first between blue and purple. The way the grid shifted, he had jug and spoons next to each other with washboard underneath. He right away saw the things as instruments connection.

Purple makes sense, and maybe if the grid had shifted differently, he said he might have seen that first. It does finish off the phone trap with dog, freeze, phone and price.

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.