Today's NYT Connections hints and answers — Thursday, February 8, #242

NYT Connections
(Image credit: Future)
Connections today: Quick menu

Looking for today's Connections answers? The Connections answers on February 8 for puzzle #242 are even trickier than yesterday's, with the Connections Companion rating this puzzle's difficulty at 3.3 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, #241, in case you're reading this in a different time zone.

Spoilers lie ahead for Connections #242. 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: Let loose
  • 🟩 Green: Play your cards right
  • 🟦 Blue: Prepare for a broadside
  • 🟪 Purple: Inked treasures

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.

Alright then, here's a larger hint: As you navigate today's treacherous waters, remember not all that glitters is gold. The most obvious path can be a siren's call, luring you to your doom. Your true course lies on the deck - but in the deck.

Today's Connections answers

So, what are today's Connections answers for game #242?

Drumroll, please...

  • 🟨 Archery equipment: Arrow, bow, quiver, target
  • 🟩 Card games: Bridge, Gin, Spit, War
  • 🟦 Wallop: Belt, clock, deck, slug
  • 🟪 Classic Tattoos: Anchor, dragon, heart, rose

Today's puzzle board was as scattered as the contents of a plundered treasure chest, gleaming with nautical terms fit for Pirates Of The Caribbean. I set sail into the briny deep, lifting my eyepatch to better scan the grid before me.

Confidently, I attempted to assemble a crew with Bridge, Deck, Bow, and Anchor. Surely these were all parts of a ship? Alas, by Davy Jones' locker, that was not to be the first treasure I'd haul aboard.

Undeterred, I spied the proper assembly of my archery arsenal: Bow, Quiver, Arrow, and Target. These tools of the sharpshooter's trade were my bounty, and I marked one on the ship's ledger.

Peering through my spyglass, I then found a quartet of brutish moves: Deck, Slug, Belt, and Clock. Each could be a solid hit across the face of an adversary if you couldn't find your cutlass in time.

So, where would you find an Anchor if not aboard the ship? It struck me like the flash of lightning - it belonged not to the vessel but to the skin. Alongside the Anchor, the Dragon, Heart, and Rose were classic tattoos, emblazoned on many a pirate's brawny arm. The purple category was now in my possession.

With my map nearly complete, only the green category remained. Aha! 'Twas a gamble as sure as any pirate's luck, the card games of Bridge, Gin, Spit, and War. The final piece of the puzzle clicked into place like a trap in The Goonies.

With all categories conquered, it was a victory worthy of Blackbeard himself. I raised my flag high, the grid as conquered as the seven seas, no longer a peril but a ship under my command. Yo ho, a puzzler's life for me!

Yesterday's Connections answers

Reading this in a later time zone? Here are the Connections answers for game #241, which had a difficulty rating of 2.8 out of 5, according to the Connections Companion.

Today's NYT Connections puzzle had me chuckling immediately. Right there, in the puzzle grid, were Sponge, Bob, Square, and Pants, all lined up like the intro to my kid's favorite cartoon. But that was too obvious - I wasn't about to be bamboozled by Plankton's tricks today.

Like a jellyfishing expedition, I started by casting my net over Square, Circle, Triangle, and Diamond, all shapes. But Cross was still a possibility, so I moved on.

There, amidst the vibrant coral and bubbling sea vents, I found Sponge chilling with Ray, Squid, and Crab – a group of sea critters ready to party in the Pacific. That was the yellow category, as bright as the sun above Bikini Bottom.

Then it hit me like a Krusty Krab pizza delivery. Bob, Weave, Cross, and Hook – Sandy Cheeks could have told me these were boxing maneuvers. With this blue category down, I was ready to rumble.

  • 🟨 Sea creatures: Crab, ray, sponge, squid
  • 🟩 Basic two-dimensional shapes: Circle, diamond, square, triangle
  • 🟦 Boxing maneuvers: Bob, cross, hook, weave
  • 🟪 Fancy ____: Feast, free, pants, that

With Cross out for the count, the rest of the shapes were next, and I confidently matched up Square with Circle, Triangle, and Diamond.

Left with the remnants of a Bikini Bottom bash, I realized that Feast, Pants, That, and the elusive Free all had one thing in common: they could all be served with a side of Fancy. And just like that, the purple category was as neatly wrapped as a gift from Grandma SquarePants.

I had conquered the grid like SpongeBob conquered his fears of the Hash-Slinging Slasher. The residents of Bikini Bottom would be proud.

Richard Sutherland

Richard is a technology writer with over 20 years experience in website development, marketing, and SEO. A graduate in Computer Science, he has lectured in Java programming and built software for companies including Samsung and Walmart. Richard writes for TechRadar, IT Pro, Tom's Guide, and PC Gamer.