NYT Strands today — hints, spangram and answers for game #54 (Friday, April 26, 2024)

NYT Strands on a cellphone
(Image credit: Tom’s Guide/NY Times/Shutterstock)
Connections today: Quick menu

Need a bit of help with NYT Strands today? Bluntly, I'm not surprised as it felt quite a bit more specialized than previous puzzles, suggesting that the New York Times is ramping up the difficulty. 

Below, we've compiled some useful hints for Strands #54, as well as the answers, should it come to that. We'll start off with some clues, before building up to the full answer for Strands #54, so read on if you need a little help.

Warning: Spoilers lie ahead for Strands #54.  

Today's NYT Strands answer — Today's theme and hints

The official theme for NYT Strands #54 is... "Staff members".

And here's an unofficial hint from me: Music to my ears

If you're still in the dark, here are some useful words to give you those valuable clue tokens:

  • MUTE
  • TALL
  • GENT
  • SOFA

Still struggling? The spangram will give you a hint about the connection word. Today, it starts with 'N' and ends with 'N'.

Scroll down to find out what it is...


Today's Strands answers

So, what are today's Strands answers for game #54?

Drumroll, please...

  • FLAT
  • CLEF
  • REST

Strands #54

(Image credit: Alan Martin)

...and the spangram was NOTATION.

Clues used: 2.




A very tough one today, especially as I don't have a musical bone in my body. The clue is deliberately misleading too: "Staff members" had me looking for words like TEMP and MANAGER - all part of the puzzle setter's plans, I imagine.

(If you still don't get the link, "staff" is the term for the horizontal lines on written musical notation).

Indeed, when I finally got my first answer on the board, it was by accident. When writing this column, I start off by looking for incorrect words with which to buy clues for the section above. So I connected the word SHARP not expecting it to actually be filled in. 

The same was true for NATURAL, which I found afterwards. I couldn't see a connection between these two, so I eventually had to use a clue, which gave me FLAT. That didn't help, so I clued again and got CLEF (annoying, as I'd already tried CLEFT and been rejected.)

Now I knew what the theme was, and figured out NOTATION as the spangram from bottom to top. But even with this, I was straining to remember terms for musical notation, as it's really not my area. 

Eventually I managed to dredge up MEASURE and SIGNATURE. That left just REST - something I intend to do after this absolute pain of a puzzle.

Yesterday's Strands answers

Reading this in a later time zone? You can find the full article on yesterday's Strands answers for game #53 right here.

Alan Martin

Freelance contributor Alan has been writing about tech for over a decade, covering phones, drones and everything in between. Previously Deputy Editor of tech site Alphr, his words are found all over the web and in the occasional magazine too. When not weighing up the pros and cons of the latest smartwatch, you'll probably find him tackling his ever-growing games backlog. Or, more likely, playing Spelunky for the millionth time.