Connections Is All Emojis Today, and It’s Not Loading for Some Users as a Result

Connections decision to go with emojis today isn’t going over well with everyone.


Apr. 1 2024, Updated 10:04 a.m. ET

An image of the issue with the emojis in Connections.
Source: The New York Times

Every time The New York Times issues a new game, the game almost invariably becomes one of the most popular on the internet. Connections, the paper’s latest game, has been bewitching audiences for months. Usually, though, the game is word-based.

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In fact, the entire premise of Connections is that the player is supposed to make four groups of connected words out of a grid of 16 total words. In the April 1 edition of the game, though, the Times decided to do something different. For that edition, all of the words were emojis.

The logo for Connections.
Source: The New York Times
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What happened to NYT Connections?

If you logged into your NYT Gaming app on April 1 to play Connections, you may have noticed that the challenge today features 16 emojis instead of 16 words. The goal remains the same, but, likely because of April Fool’s Day, emojis have been swapped in for words.

If you play Connections on mobile, you likely didn’t notice anything all that strange beyond the substitution of emojis for words.

If you play Connections on a desktop computer, though, things may have seemed much more broken. Some of the emojis aren’t rendering for some users, which makes the grid look at least partially blank.

It’s likely a bug with the way the game is played, and one that is frustrating some who play the game regularly and want to better understand why they can’t seem to figure it out today.

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Even for users for saw all the emojis, some weren’t sure what was going on.

Beyond the fact that the puzzle simply didn’t register for some users (especially those using older laptops), the puzzle also perplexed some users more than your average Connections.

That’s likely because emojis can have multiple different words associated with them, and also because the connections between the different words are all different from one grouping to the next.

Source: Twitter@RachelCDailey
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We aren’t going to spoil the puzzle here, but Connections was clearly confusing enough for many that they immediately went to the internet to figure out what was going on.

It seems likely that, when April 2 finally dawns, the puzzle will go back to normal, and everyone can put the entire affair behind them.

Given the issues that some users had with even seeing the emojis that are necessary to play the game, it seems unlikely that the Times will try this again in the near future.

Although they likely did at least some cross-testing at the start of the process to make sure that everything worked appropriately, it’s clear that that testing wasn’t enough to detect issues with older desktop computers.

At least we know that the part paper, part gaming company has learned its lesson, and can avoid making the same mistake in the future. What was supposed to be a light April Fools edition of Connections has turned into a bit of a debacle, and regular Connections players are paying the price, whether they can complete the puzzle or not.

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