Arrange these 25 words into five groups of five.

SCHOOL, DRAGON, LIFE, ELEVATOR, SEA, AGE, TRAIN, LEFT, WEB, HORSE, PLANE, WEEK, URGE, READ, WALLOW, TROUBLE, PAINT, FREEZE, WRONG, CAPSIZE, STATE, LAUGHTER, CURVE, RESPONSIBILITY, HARD.  Note that AGE and TROUBLE are on a different-colored background as if they have been edited in an image editor.

I initially created this puzzle for my friends but none of them have solved it yet, so I have posted it here to make sure it was not too hard!

For a bonus point, can you figure out why I have changed two of the words for this online version, and what the original words might be?

This is inspired by the New York Times Connections puzzles.

  • $\begingroup$ Is there are connection between the 5 groups? $\endgroup$
    – PDT
    Commented Mar 4 at 8:09
  • $\begingroup$ There is not. I'm open to feedback on puzzle creation though! Having a connection between all the connections would be a cool thing to do. $\endgroup$
    – Luke
    Commented Mar 4 at 10:17
  • $\begingroup$ re your comment: see other questions on this site tagged connect-wall $\endgroup$
    – msh210
    Commented Mar 4 at 10:40
  • 5
    $\begingroup$ Felt like I was off to a great start on this one and am now stuck at the end, rethinking what I have so far... @LukeAlt do any of the answers require any fairly specific domain knowledge or should they all be solvable with a general understanding of the English language? $\endgroup$
    – SQLnoob
    Commented Mar 4 at 13:05
  • 3
    $\begingroup$ @SQLNoob It depends on what you would consider domain knowledge... I'd say that one of the words here relates to something that internet citizens would likely know but many older people who have not spent a lot of time in internet circles wouldn't. If you are stuck right at the end a quick google search will reveal whether you are correct. I hope this answers your question, I can be more specific if you like but don't want to give the puzzle away! $\endgroup$
    – Luke
    Commented Mar 4 at 21:12

1 Answer 1


Edit: Here is my revised tentative solution, somewhat more likely to be correct than my previous solution:

Opposites of right and write: LEFT, WRONG, RESPONSIBILITY, CAPSIZE, READ

Words to which one can append BALL: PAINT, HARD, CURVE, DRAGON, SCHOOL

Words that can be prefixed with S-: AGE, URGE, TRAIN, LAUGHTER, WALLOW

Words that can be prefixed with DEEP: WEB, SEA, FREEZE, STATE, TROUBLE

Things that can get you high: WEED, LIFE ("High on life"), HORSE ("on your high horse"), ELEVATOR, PLANE

The first four fit nicely, while the fifth is plausible but not clear-cut.

Old attempt: I have a tentative solution, which is likely not fully correct. I have two groups that feel very strong:



I have one group that feels very strong, except that it has six entries instead of five:

Words that can be prefixed with S- to form another word: AGE, URGE, TRAIN, LAUGHTER, WALLOW (and HARD)

With the remaining words, I have two potential groups, both of which feel pretty shaky:

Things to get stuck in/stuck at: LIFE, WEB, WEED, ELEVATOR, SEA

Ways to crash/kinds of crashses: PLANE, FREEZE, STATE, TROUBLE, HORSE

I doubt the last two groups are correct.

  • 3
    $\begingroup$ Indeed, it's a key feature (certainly of the Only Connect walls, don't know about the NYT version) that there are red-herrings and overlaps between groups, but (crucially) only one way to resolve all the groups simultaneously. $\endgroup$
    – fljx
    Commented Mar 6 at 9:43
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ I think I've confirmed the question I asked in my original post: was this puzzle too hard for my friends? Yes! $\endgroup$
    – Luke
    Commented Mar 6 at 10:02
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ I think if I had to make this again to make it easier I would include more rare words that clued their connections more obviously. I tried to stray away from that and ended up making far too many reasonable connections possible! $\endgroup$
    – Luke
    Commented Mar 6 at 10:14
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ I had all of these groups and was so close but I usually had rot13(fpubby va gur tebhc jvgu UVTU naq pbhyqa’g znxr gur erfg jbex bhg. Jung vf n “fpubbyonyy?” V’ir arire urneq gung grez orsber.) $\endgroup$
    – SQLnoob
    Commented Mar 6 at 16:30
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @SQLnoob rot13(N "fpubby onyy" vf nabgure jbeq sbe n cebz. Vg'f abg n pbzzba grez va zl (Nzrevpna) qvnyrpg, vg ybbxf yvxr vg'f zbfgyl na Nhfgenyvna naq Arj Mrnynaq grez, nf jryy nf cnegf bs rnfgrea Rhebcr. V sbhaq vg ol tbbtyvat.) $\endgroup$
    – isaacg
    Commented Mar 6 at 16:37

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