Today's NYT Connections hints and answers — Tuesday, July 9, #394

NYT Connections
(Image credit: Future)

Looking for today's Connections answers? The Connections answers on July 9 for puzzle #394 takes a significant leap in difficulty compared to yesterday, with the Connections Companion rating this puzzle's difficulty at 3.5 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, #393, in case you're reading this in a different time zone.

Spoilers lie ahead for Connections #394. 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: Chronicle
  • 🟩 Green: Mess of hair
  • 🟦 Blue: TV shows minus "s"
  • 🟪 Purple: Words after "hedge"

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: It's all about classic shows that people have deep relationships that could be put to writing. After that it's all about hair and perhaps Sonic, the blue one not that the fast food joint.

Today's Connections answers

So, what are today's Connections answers for game #394?

Drumroll, please...

  • 🟨 Chronicle: Journal, log, record, register
  • 🟩 Mess of hair: Mane, mop, shock, tangle
  • 🟦 TV shows minus "s": Cheer, friend, scrub, weed
  • 🟪 Words after "hedge": Fund, hog, maze, trimmer

I have mentioned before that I take a Magic Eye image approach to solving Connections. If I'm being honest, that may have been the only way that I was able to solve today's puzzle after how gently easy yesterday's went.

I also tend to start at the bottom of the grid. So, I saw the word 'mane' and immediately started looking for other "hair" words. Mop and tangle came pretty quick. I struggled to find "shock" but when I did, down went the green category.

The yellow category was an easy find after that with journal, log, record and register all falling pretty close to each other in the remaining grid. 

And then I hit trouble. For three straight strike, I couldn't see the answers. I had a combination of three blue answers and one purple. 

I did fall for the verb trap, so at various points I had scrub, weed, trimmer, cheer, and hog in and out of my lineup and I refused to let go of it like a dog with a bone.

Personally, I tend to struggle with the Word minus a Letter or Prefixes. So, I just could not see the blue category and its TV shows. 

So, I took a break and looked at the purple words that I wasn't using. Maze and fund never crossed my verb-addled mind. I'll admit my last guess was a Hail Mary where I threw in hog and trimmer because I couldn't think of anything else. I feel I should have gotten purple on general. But I was in a Connections haze.

The blue category was a rote, if bitter fill after that. Cheer(s), Friend(s), Scrub(s) and Weed(s). 

Yesterday's Connections answers

Reading this in a later time zone? Here are the Connections answers for game #393, which had a difficulty rating of 2.3 out of 5, according to the Connections Companion.

The obvious link between spirit and haunt almost threw me, but not this time Connections crew! In brainstorming other uses of haunt, the words patronize and visit all but jumped out at me followed soon after by frequent to round out the Blue category. 

Next was Green. I connected grit and resolve right away. Then spirit came haunting back, and I realized they weren't talking about the kind in a sheet chasing Scooby-Doo. That only left will, which as it turns out, was not referencing a person's last will and testament. Look, there were a lot of spooky words in today's puzzle (freight gets an honorary mention), so I struggled to get my mind out of the graveyard, ok?

Yellow came together after that, with suggestion, tip, and trick being easy enough to spot. Pointer made me think of the dog breed, but its other meaning came to me once I got the other three. 

The Purple category was downright diabolical today. With only four words left, I was still clueless how they were related...until the category popped up and I  groaned. Each word ends in a number — caNINE, frEIGHT, get it? That's tough enough, but then you've got ozone. Ozone? A word where it's not even pronounced like the number? That's a low blow, Connections crew. I'm suing for emotional damages. 

Scott Younker
West Coast Reporter

Scott Younker is the West Coast Reporter at Tom’s Guide. He covers all the lastest tech news. He’s been involved in tech since 2011 at various outlets and is on an ongoing hunt to build the easiest to use home media system. When not writing about the latest devices, you are more than welcome to discuss board games or disc golf with him.