NYT Connections hints and answers for Thursday, January 11, #214

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

Looking for today's Connections answers? The Connections answers on January 11 for puzzle #214 are noticeably easier today, with the Connections Companion rating this puzzle's difficulty at 2.6 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, #213, in case you're reading this in a different time zone.

Spoilers lie ahead for Connections #214. Only read on if you want to know today's Connections answers.

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: What's the matter?
  • 🟩 Green: GOAT
  • 🟦 Blue: Check the PH levels
  • 🟪 Purple: Soccer turf

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: Today's Connections might have you tempted to put Great and Perfect together in a bid to find the flawless. Instead, consider some phonetic fun while also seeking the GOAT. And remember, it's all mind over matter!

Today's Connections answers

So, what are today's Connections answers for game #214?

Drumroll, please...

  • 🟨 States of matter: Gas, Liquid, Plasma, Solid
  • 🟩 All-timer: Great, Hero, Icon, Legend
  • 🟦 "Ph" words that also work with "F": Phat, Phew, Philly, Phish
  • 🟪 _______ Pitch: Elevator, Fever, Perfect, Sales

I'm not even going to try and play it cool here, for today saw my first perfect game in some time, so forgive me if today's Connections write-up has a rather self-congratulatory tone about it. Instead, ask me "what's the matter?" and you'll find that I respond with Gas, Liquid, Plasma, and Solid, which, as it happens, was today's yellow group: States of matter.

Next up saw the blue category ticked off just as quickly, having swiftly spotted the fantastic phonetical fusion that connected Phat, Phew, Philly, and Phish, though I'll admit to not realising until I'd submitted my answer that those words also worked when beginning with an F.

On a roll now, I was briefly taken with the potential of combining Great and Perfect, until Hero, Icon, and Legend suggested that Great should have some all-timer company instead. 

So three out of three with only the purple category's four remaining words. I took my time to link together Elevator, Fever, Perfect, and Sales, but I did eventually see the pattern before I completed the game feeling like a Connections GOAT. Pitch perfect indeed!

Yesterday's Connections answers

Reading this in a later time zone? Here are the Connections answers for game #213, which had a difficulty rating of 2.8 out of 5, according to the Connections Companion.

Yesterday's Connections grid was bursting with sorcery, which I found very quickly to my detriment when I made two early mistakes. Firstly, with visions of smart tuxes and evening gowns, I combined Poker, Chips, Cards, and Slots, fairly certain that I'd hit the Vegas jackpot. One away!

Having figured that Dice may have been the missing pick but without any obvious weak link in my original selection, I moved to try my luck elsewhere. Melt, Shred, Grate, and Crumble seemed to link nicely, reading like instructions from my favorite recipe book. But yet again I was one away.

Thankfully I was swiftly out of my funk when I spotted an enchanting alternative, scoring my first category of the day with Charm, Curse, Hex, and Spell - a magical combination I'm sure you'll agree, though without offering any solution to my quandaries above. 

  • 🟨 Bit of magic: Charm, Burse, Hex, Spell
  • 🟩 Found around a fireplace: Flue, Grate, Log, Poker
  • 🟦 Things seen at a casino: Cards, Chips, Dice, Slots
  • 🟪 Ways to prepare cheese: Crumble, Melt, Shred, Slice

I returned to what I'll now call my cookbook combo, removing Grate and replacing it with Slice, and as the selected words did their little category-completing dance, a cheesy smile emerged on my face.

That's because, with Grate out of the picture for the purple category, a spark was lit as I linked it instead with Log and Flue, recalling those recent roaring Christmas fires. But what else could match? Why, our old friend Poker of course!

Chips no longer down, this left me with Cards, Chips, Dice, and Slots for the Vegas dream team. Thankfully, the house didn't win on this occasion!

Connections tips — how to win Connections

Connections relies more on your deductive skills and general knowledge, and you also don't get to know which word (or words) don't belong in your guessed groupings. Only if you've included one incorrect word, will the game tell you so.

To win Connections, you'll want to take your time looking at all 16 words before making your first guess. Do any words have more than pronunciation? Do any of the words mean more than one thing? Are any of the words part of larger phrases?

Often times, the answer that jumps out at your first will intentionally mislead you. That's why identifying any possible 5-word categories is a good strategy to start. Bookmark them and come back to them after you've solved another category or two, and it should help you figure out which of the 5 words belongs in a different category. 

Most Connections categories aren't incredibly obvious. It's common for the editor to use phrases, puns and other tricky topics that will require you to think. If you're stuck on the categories, cycle through each word in the grid and brainstorm possible categories that word fits into, even if you don't see other related words in the puzzle.

What is NYT Connections?

Connections is a category matching game, launched as a beta experience on June 12, 2023. It then joined the NYT Games app (iOS, Android) officially on August 28, 2023. This app is how people can play the daily New York Times Crossword and ultra-viral game Wordle; however, you need a paid subscription for crossword access, while Wordle and Connections are free to play.

In Connections, you're presented with 16 words and need to group them into 4, 4-word categories. There are often words intended to mislead you, or seemingly 5-word categories. Your goal is to group the words properly without exceeding 4 guesses. If you can't solve it within 4 guesses, you've failed, and the answers will be revealed. 

What time does the Connections puzzle come out?

The NYT Connections puzzle comes out daily. The game is refreshed at your device's midnight local time.

Where to play Connections

You can play Connections on the New York Times Game App, available for iOS/iPadOS and Android. If you're on a computer or your device's browser, you can access NYT Connections online here.

Kate Kozuch

Kate Kozuch is the managing editor of social and video at Tom’s Guide. She covers smartwatches, TVs and audio devices, too. Kate appears on Fox News to talk tech trends and runs the Tom's Guide TikTok account, which you should be following. When she’s not filming tech videos, you can find her taking up a new sport, mastering the NYT Crossword or channeling her inner celebrity chef.