Games Like Wordle: Understand Strands

Strands New York Times Game

by David Ker |
Updated on

The New York Times purchased Wordle in 2022 and they also have a host of other games to play, including this new addition. Strands is a Wordsearch-like game with some fun tweaks.

For starters, there’s no word list and the answers you’re looking for in the puzzle grid are not in straight lines. You also have to identify a theme and find the words which relate to this, one of which is the ‘spangram’ – the word which describes the theme of the puzzle.

How to play

1. Take a look at the puzzle grid and see what words you can identify. Bear in mind the theme.

Strands NYT 1

2. Drag or tap to form a strand and submit a theme word. Theme words will fill the grid entirely and do not overlap with each other.

In the example below, a correct word has been found (CARTOON) and has remained highlighted in blue.

3. Try to use the information attained from any correct guess to determine the theme and find other words which also fit this. Identify three non-themed words to receive a hint.

The word ‘DOOM’ has been found here and highlighted above, but does not match the theme and so the Hint bar has started to fill.

4. Selecting Hint when it is available will reveal the letters in another correct word.

The use of the Hint option here has revealed five letters which can be joined to make the word ‘COMIC’.

5. Continue finding the theme words and the ‘spangram’ – the word which describes the puzzle’s theme and touches two opposite sides of the board. It can be more than one word and will be highlighted in yellow when discovered.

In this Strands, the spangram which describes the theme of ‘This is where I draw the line’ is ‘GRAPHIC ART’ and the related words are COMIC, DOODLE, SKETCH, DESIGN, PORTRAIT and CARTOON.

What’s the verdict?

For the time being Strands is still in beta testing, but we hope that doesn’t remain the case. It’s an enjoyable game which takes elements of classic puzzles and adapts them successfully.

Better suited to touch-screen play, it’s fun to solve regardless. The changes to a traditional Wordsearch, including the cryptic element to the theme and the words being formed in a variety of patterns (like Boggle or a Snakeword) is a welcome additional challenge.

We will be following Strands progress with interest. If it reflects its own gameplay it may well forge an unconventional path to success.

[Images from Strands by NYT Games]

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