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People are outraged at the New York Times Connections game for this one reason

The game makers behind The New York TimesConnections have people up in arms over Wednesday’s puzzle.

For those who are unaware of the addicting game, Connections is a puzzle available on the New York Times website. It presents players with a grid of 16 words, and the task is to arrange the words into four groups of four by uncovering the “connections” between them. For example, these categories could be elements in the periodic table or types of flowers.

Each group of connections is colour-coded based on level of difficulty. The yellow group is the easiest, while blue and green have medium levels of difficulty. The purple group is typically the hardest one to figure out.

However, players are only given four changes to make each connection. If you make a guess and you’re incorrect, you’ll lose a life. But if you’re close to guessing the correct group, a message will appear on the screen telling you you’re one word away from getting the right pairing.

Seems easy enough, right? Well, the people behind Connections have been known to try and trick players with words that sound like they’d be in the correct group, but actually aren’t. That was the case for Wednesday’s game on 7 February, when the first four words in the grid referenced everyone’s favourite sponge under the sea: “Sponge” and “Bob” and “Square” and “Pants”.

While the words were in reference to the iconic Nickelodeon cartoon, Spongebob Squarepants, players weren’t amused by the apparent trick, as the grouping was not actually an answer to the puzzle. Taking to X, formerly Twitter, users shared their frustrated reactions to Wednesday’s Connections puzzle.

“I am not charmed by this,” one person posted on X, along with a screenshot of the Connections grouping, “Sponge Bob Square Pants”.

NYT Connections said, ‘Who lives in a pineapple under the sea?’” another user jokingly said.

NYT Connections you will pay for your goofy crimes,” a third person wrote, while someone else posted: “NYT Connections paying respect to a legend.”

Meanwhile, some people took the opportunity to call out those who were tricked by the obvious mind game.

“If you fell for this today you’re weak-minded,” one user said.

“If you thought sponge, bob, square, and pants were a category today I’m so sorry but the game isn’t for you,” said someone else.

As for the actual answers to Wednesday’s Connections game, the 16 words presented to players were sponge, bob, square, pants, hook, free, that, circle, ray, diamond, cross, crab, triangle, squid, weave, and feast.

Spoiler alert: The category for the yellow group was sea creatures, the green group was basic two-dimensional shapes, the blue group was boxing maneuvers, and the purple group were phrases that began with fancy.

Crab, ray, sponge, and squid belonged to the sea creatures, or yellow, group. In the basic two-dimensional shapes group were the words circle, diamond, square, and triangle. The blue group, or the boxing maneuvers category, were bob, cross, hook, and wave. And finally, in the purple group, were feast, free, pants, and that.