Today’s NYT Strands Hints, Answer and Help for July 1, #120

Strands doesn’t get as much attention as its New York Times game siblings, Wordle and Connections, but it can be just as challenging and entertaining. Strands just moved out of beta, so it’s now in the New York Times’ official Games app, which might bring it more fans. I go into depth about the rules for Strands in this story. 

If you’re reading this, you probably need some help with the Strands puzzle, so here we go. Warning: Scroll down too far and too fast and you’ll see spoilers.

Need more answers? Here’s the answer for today’s Wordle, and here are the answers for today’s Connections.

Read more: NYT Connections Turns 1: These Are the 5 Toughest Puzzles So Far

Hint for today’s Strands puzzle

Today’s Strands theme is: We’ve got the beat.

But if that doesn’t help you, here’s a clue: Instrumental.

Clue words to unlock in-game hints

Your goal is to find hidden words that fit the puzzle’s theme. If you’re stuck, find any words you can. Every time you find three words of four letters or more, Strands will reveal one of the theme words. These are the words I used to get those hints, but any words of four or more letters that you find will work:


Answers for today’s Strands puzzle

These are the answers that tie in to the theme. The goal of the puzzle is to find them all, including the spangram, a theme word that reaches from one side of the puzzle to the other. When you’ve got all of them (I originally thought there were always eight but learned that the number can vary), every letter on the board will be used. Here are the nonspangram answers:


Today’s Strands spangram

Today’s Strands spangram is PERCUSSION. To spell it out, start with the P that’s three letters in on the top row, and wind down.

Completed Strands puzzle from July 1

Rock on.

Screenshot by Gael Fashingbauer Cooper/CNET

How to play NYT Strands

1. Use today’s theme to look for words relating to that topic. See one? Drag or click the letters in order. Click on the last letter twice to submit your guess. If you’ve found a theme word, it’ll light up in blue and stay that way.

2. Other words you find are considered hint words that give you clues to the theme words. Find three hint words (they must have at least four letters each), and the game will reward you by showing you a theme word. But if you can’t unscramble it, find three more hint words and the game will highlight the theme word’s letters in order.

3. Hunt for the spangram, a special theme word that spans the entire puzzle, though it could flow across, or top to bottom. It summarizes the puzzle theme.

4. When you’re done, you’ll have used every letter on the board in either a theme word or spangram. Theme words fill the entire board and do not overlap.