NYT Strands today — hints, answers and spangram for Sunday, June 9 (game #98)

 NYT Strands homescreen on a mobile phone screen, on a light blue background.
NYT Strands homescreen on a mobile phone screen, on a light blue background.

For the second day in a row I'm a little frustrated by Strands. You can decide for yourself whether you agree with my take, but it may well be one of those games where a hint helps.

Want more word-based fun? Then check out my Wordle todayNYT Connections today and Quordle today pages for hints and answers for those games.

SPOILER WARNING: Information about NYT Strands today is below, so don't read on if you don't want to know the answers.

NYT Strands today (game #98) - hint #1 - today's theme

What is the theme of today's NYT Strands?

Today's NYT Strands theme is… Way to grow!

NYT Strands today (game #98) - hint #2 - clue words

What are some good clue words today?

Play any of these words to unlock the in-game hints system.

RATE

WAVE

PACE

SEAR

SIDE

RACE

NYT Strands today (game #98) - hint #3 - spangram

What is a hint for today's spangram?

You'll need green fingers too

NYT Strands today (game #98) - hint #4 - spangram position

What are two sides of the board that today's spangram touches?

First: left, 4th row

Last: right, 5th row

Right, the answers are below, so DO NOT SCROLL ANY FURTHER IF YOU DON'T WANT TO SEE THEM.

NYT Strands today (game #98) - the answers

NYT Strands answers for game 98 on a blue background
NYT Strands answers for game 98 on a blue background

The answers to today's Strands, game #98, are…

  • SEEDS

  • WATER

  • SUNLIGHT

  • EARTH

  • SPACE

  • LOVE

  • PROTECTION

  • SPANGRAM: GARDEN


  • My rating: Frustrating

  • My score: One hint


Creating a Strands puzzle must be difficult. I don't know how it's done – even once you come up with the answers, the challenge of fitting them all into the grid, in a way in which they tessellate and where the letters can't be used in a different way, must be a real head-scratcher. Probably harder than solving it, to be honest!

I say all that to mitigate the fact that I really don't think this Strands puzzle works. It's not the first time I've felt that way, either. Strands is regularly great, but sometimes it just doesn't hit the mark. The game's instructions state that the spangram "describes the puzzle’s theme". The theme clue today, meanwhile, was "Way to grow!" So what is the theme? Is it the verb 'garden', as in to do some gardening? That's the closest fit, but the answers – including LOVE and PROTECTION – don't really work then. Does it really require LOVE to garden? Someone who does it for a job doesn't necessarily put LOVE into it. And SPACE? You can just about justify them all, but it's a stretch. It's one of those puzzles where at the end you're left grimacing at how it had to be forced in, rather than smiling at the smart way it was done and accepting that yes, they bested you today – or at least got you thinking, as opposed to guessing random words.

Maybe this is all sour grapes from me, because I needed one hint to find LOVE, but I suspect I won't be the only one feeling a little unsatisfied today.

How did you do today? Send me an email and let me know.


Yesterday's NYT Strands answers (Saturday 8 June, game #97)

  • BEACH

  • CAMP

  • POPSICLE

  • CARNIVAL

  • LEMONADE

  • HOPSCOTCH

  • SPANGRAM: SUMMER


What is NYT Strands?

Strands is the NYT's new word game, following Wordle and Connections. It's currently in Beta and can be played on the NYT Games site on desktop or mobile.

I've got a full guide to how to play NYT Strands, complete with tips for solving it, so check that out if you're struggling to beat it each day.