Today's NYT Connections hints and answers — Wednesday, July 3 #388

NYT Connections
(Image credit: Future)

Looking for today's Connections answers? The Connections answers on July 3 for puzzle #388 is functionally the same difficulty as yesterday's answers, with the Connections Companion rating this puzzle's difficulty at 2.8 out of 5. Yesterday was a 2.7

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, #387, in case you're reading this in a different time zone.

Spoilers lie ahead for Connections #388. 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: Develop, as ideas
  • 🟩 Green: Tangible
  • 🟦 Blue: Kinds of cake
  • 🟪 Purple: Things you can throw, in metaphors

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 wants to trick you with some baseball and maybe a toddler-esque meltdown. Don't let it. Though it might put you in the mood for a mind game or a sweet dessert.

Today's Connections answers

So, what are today's Connections answers for game #388?

Drumroll, please...

  • 🟨 Develop, as ideas: Brainstorm, ideate, spitball, workshop
  • 🟩 Tangible: Concrete, material, real, solid
  • 🟦 Kinds of cake: Birthday, crumb, marble, pound
  • 🟪 Things you can throw, in metaphors: Curveball, party, tantrum, wrench

I shouldn't have fallen for the two traps that were present in today's puzzle but I did. 

Perhaps baseball is on the mind as I watch my Arizona Diamondbacks continue to just exist in the NL West. But I latched on to curveball and spitball real quick. It led nowhere, just like Arizona's season (no way, they make a World Series run again, right?). 

Anyway, once I got over that, I saw brainstorm, ideate and spitball. It took a moment to see workshop but that got the yellow category done. 

For me, I look at the Connections kind of like those Magic Eye 3D puzzles. Perhaps, I should look at every single word, but I kind of like to see what pops up to my brain and then how I can string the connections together.

Because I was still working baseball, I got the purple category next with curveball. I also may have just watched Dodgeball the other night. So throw a wrench was on the mind. After that I saw that you can throw a party and a tantrum. Sure, metaphorically you can do those things but I think you can also literally do it.

I now want cake after getting the blue category. I could go for a Black Forest Cake, though the options were birthday, crumb, marble and pound. All fine cakes.

The green category was solid, concrete, material, real if you will. 

Yesterday's Connections answers

Reading this in a later time zone? Here are the Connections answers for game #387, which had a difficulty rating of 2.7 out of 5, according to the Connections Companion.

There are a couple of traps in today's puzzle. 

There was a puzzle last week which featured words with the same two letter combo that made up a connection. With squirrel, liquid, quid and squid, it felt like today's puzzle was playing with that idea but as a trap. Fortunately, I avoided that.

Unfortunately, that was my only brainy move today. Today, for me, was a grind, despite the puzzle supposedly being easier than yesterday's grid.

I got the yellow category first with stash, store and stow being nabbed quickly. For some reason, I did not or could not see the word squirrel to cap it off. I had was sitting on liquid for some reason for longer than I care to admit before I saw squirrel.

After that I was starting at fixed and frozen trying to force a connection about, in my mind, things staying the same. Embarrassingly, the only reason I got the blue category next is because I thought the four words; caveat, ergo, quid and vox didn't fit with anything else. Latin never entered the brain.

The purple category  was suddenly very easy after that. Arcade game, blame game, numbers game and, sure, Squid Game. 

I was correct that fixed and frozen went together but I don't know if I was ever going to find liquid and toxic to pair with them. 

Tomorrow, more caffeine or more sleep to stimulate mind. I have a baby in the house, so sleep will not be the option. Caffeine it is.

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.