Ranking The New York Times’ Free Games: From Connections to Vertex

My Personal Ranking of The New York Times’ Free Games

I’d love to see the stats on the New York Times.  I’d be surprised it the Game section didn’t get more view than the front page.  I think that’s where we’re at.   One company, giving us a Morpheus choice.  The Blue Pill, represented by the games allows us to spend time in blissful neutrality while the red pill the news is the painful reality.

I’m choosing the blue pill.  A subscription free blue pill with a choice of nine games (including Strands still stranded beta).   Here’s how I rank these games, along with a brief description of each:

1. Connections

Connections often breaks my brain.  Somedays I can figure it out but there are days I can’t.

Connections tops my list as it challenges players to think abstractly and draw links between different words. This game not only tests your vocabulary but also your ability to see beyond the obvious, making it a stimulating mental exercise.

2. Wordle

It’s simple, addictive, and a I can almost ways figure it out.   My go to is C-R-A-N-E

Wordle has captured the hearts of many, and it's easy to see why. This daily puzzle asks you to guess a five-letter word within six attempts, providing subtle feedback through color-coded hints. It's simple, addictive, and a fun challenge every day.

3. Sudoku

Classic.  One of my favorite time killers now that I’ve deleted TikTok

This classic number puzzle involves filling a 9x9 grid so that each column, row, and each of the nine 3x3 subgrids contain all the digits from 1 to 9. It's perfect for number lovers and those who enjoy a logical challenge.

4. The Mini Crossword

The Mini Crossword is quick and satisfying.

5. Strands

It feels like a grade school game, but grade school could be fun.

Strands is a word association game that encourages players to think about how words connect, challenging both your vocabulary and your creative thinking skills.

6. Letter Boxed

Letter Boxed invites players to create words using letters arranged in a square.   In the right mood I’m into it

Letter Boxed invites players to create words using letters arranged in a square. This game tests your ability to see patterns and build words in a constrained format, providing a unique twist on traditional word puzzles.

7. Tiles

A matching game that tests pattern recognition.  My kids like this. I’ve never finished it.

A matching game that tests your pattern recognition and quick thinking. Tiles require players to clear the board by finding clickable pairs, demanding both speed and strategy.

8. Spelling Bee

It’s like Letter Boxed. but without the fun.  Maybe that’s because it’s easy to hit the limit in the free version.

In Spelling Bee, players try to make as many words as they can from a given set of letters, which must all include a central letter. This game is perfect for those who enjoy a more relaxed, meditative approach to word formation.

9. Vertex

Not into it.  The final images look pretty cool I’ll admit.

Vertex involves connecting dots to fill the grid completely. It’s a puzzle game that offers a decent challenge, though it may not be as engaging as the other games on this list.

Sure! Here’s a call to action you can include at the end of your blog post to direct readers to your book’s page:


Explore More Puzzles and Games

If you enjoyed this guide to The New York Times’ free games and are looking for more challenges to test your wits, you might find my book equally engaging. Check out “Gross Potions” on Amazon.

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