Strands Game

Dive into Strands, your next puzzle obsession from the New York Times Games team, where finding words becomes an art. Navigate a 6-by-8 letter grid, searching for themed words that are ingeniously interconnected. Your guide? A unique spangram that bridges two opposite sides of the board, unraveling the theme that binds your discoveries. Forget the word bank—this game challenges you to connect letters in every direction: up, down, diagonally, twisting and turning to spell out your victory.

How do you play the Strands Game?

1. Getting Started

Open Strands to see a 6x8 grid filled with letters. Your goal is to find words related by a common theme, plus a special word, the spangram, which embodies the theme and must touch two opposite sides of the board.

2. Finding Words

You can form words by connecting letters vertically, horizontally, or diagonally. Feel free to change directions mid-word. Remember, each letter on the board is part of a word, and no letter is used more than once for any single word.

3. Understanding the Theme

Each puzzle revolves around a specific theme, hinted at by “Today’s Theme” displayed on the board. This theme links all the words you need to find, including the spangram.

4. The Spangram

The spangram is a key word that summarizes the theme and must stretch between two opposite edges of the grid. Identifying the spangram is crucial for understanding the puzzle's theme and aids in finding other words.

5. Earning and Using Hints

If you identify three words that don't fit the theme, you'll unlock the Hint button. This will highlight one of the theme words on the grid, helping you progress. The highlighted word remains indicated until you correctly identify it, but you won't receive additional hints until it's found.

6. Completing the Puzzle

Continue to find all theme words and the spangram. There's no penalty for incorrect guesses—instead, they contribute to earning hints. The puzzle is solved when all theme words and the spangram are correctly identified.

7. No Word Bank

Unlike traditional word searches, there’s no list of words to find. The challenge lies in discovering the words based on the theme and your ability to connect the letters in the grid.


What is Strands?

Strands is a dynamic word search game developed by the New York Times Games team. It features a 6-by-8 grid of letters where players find words based on a common theme, revealed through a special word called a spangram.

How do I play Strands?

To play, connect letters vertically, horizontally, or diagonally to form words related to the day's theme. Words must be found without repeating any letter in a single word, though you can change directions mid-word. The spangram must touch two opposite sides of the board.

Is there a way to get hints in Strands?

Yes, by finding three valid words that aren’t part of the theme, you unlock a hint. This will highlight the letters of one theme word on the grid, aiding you in your puzzle-solving journey.

Can I play Strands for free?

Absolutely! Strands is available for free on the web, allowing everyone to enjoy this engaging puzzle game.

What makes Strands different from other word search games?

Strands stands out due to its unique twist on the classic word search formula, incorporating themed words and a spangram that connects the puzzle. Its hint system and the requirement for words to touch two opposite sides of the board add an extra layer of challenge and fun.

Are mistakes penalized in Strands?

No, mistakes are not penalized. Incorrect guesses help you earn hints, making the game more forgiving and encouraging exploration within the puzzle.

How often is a new Strands puzzle available?

A new Strands puzzle is available daily, offering fresh challenges to keep players engaged and entertained.

Can I play Strands on my mobile device?

Yes, Strands can be played on any device with web access, including smartphones, tablets, and computers, ensuring you can enjoy the game anytime, anywhere.

What if I find all the words?

Finding all the theme words and the spangram completes the puzzle. This achievement offers a sense of accomplishment and prepares you for the next day's challenge.

Is Strands suitable for all ages?

Yes, Strands is designed to be accessible and enjoyable for players of all ages. Its intuitive gameplay and varying difficulty levels make it suitable for both beginners and experienced puzzle enthusiasts.

What is Strands Game?

Strands, the New York Times Games team's latest innovation, offers a fresh twist on classic word search puzzles, captivating word game enthusiasts and puzzle solvers alike. Launched in beta-testing and accessible for free on the web, Strands challenges players with a 6-by-8 grid of letters, where the goal is to discover theme words interconnected by a common element, revealed through a spangram. This game stands out by allowing connections in multiple directions—vertically, horizontally, and diagonally—and encourages strategic thinking through its unique hint system, where players earn hints by identifying words outside the theme. Designed to engage players of varying skill levels, from Wordle aficionados to crossword experts, Strands is celebrated for its depth, offering a longer, more immersive gameplay experience. With its roots in the rich tradition of newspaper word searches, Strands is not just a game but an engaging puzzle that evolves, promising to challenge and delight players with its clever wordplay and dynamic themes.