A High Holiday Game Inspired by NYT's Connections Is Here – Kveller
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A High Holiday Game Inspired by NYT’s Connections Is Here

How many of these word puzzles can you solve?

high holiday puzzles (1)

via Canva

When I was little, I remember my dad playing a game with us on long road trips. He’d ask us, “What do these things all have in common?” 

When we were very young, they started out simple (apple, orange, pear and kiwi… they’re all fruit), but as I got older, the questions got harder (airplane, bee, hot air balloon and mosquito… they all fly) and harder (water, dog, potato, wheels… they can all be “hot”). And as they did, I felt myself becoming wiser and wiser. 

There’s something thrilling about the eureka moment when you figure out how things are related. Which is why The New York Times’ new game Connections is wildly popular. It’s also why I decided to make my own version, for the High Holidays.

In case you haven’t played Connections yet (definitely try it out!), you’re given a grid of 16 squares. The challenge is to group them into four sets of four, threading the words together by a common theme.

It’s a great game to play with kids, because it encourages creative thinking, develops critical thinking skills and leads to interesting discussions. 

Learning moments happen, too. Occasionally, when I’m playing my daily round of Connections, I come across a word or phrase I’m unfamiliar with. And that sends me on a mini research hunt, as I find out new things about the world.

Enjoy trying these High Holiday puzzles on your own or with your family. If you’re playing with young kids, help them out by giving them the category one at a time and seeing how many items they can find. 

The answers are at the end. Only peek when you’re ready!

Best wishes for a shana tova, a sweet new year, to you and your loved ones. And may this year bring about all sorts of positive connections. And also some high scores.

Answer Key (no peeking!)


Rosh Hashanah Edition #1: 

Challah: Egg, Round, Braided, Bakery 

Blow: Shofar, Bubbles, Nose, Horn 

Honey: Cake, Comb, Pot, Mustard 

New: Leaf, Year, Born, Moon


Rosh Hashanah Edition #2: 

High: Five, Holidays, Spirits, Regard 

Apples: Jazz, Gala, Empire, Honeycrisp 

On the table/RH symbols: Pomegranate, Fish, Carrot, Date 

Rosh Hashanah “activities”: Meals, Shofar, Prayers, Tashlich


Rosh Hashanah Edition #3:  

Sefer Hachaim: Book, Of, Good, Life 

Tzimmes Ingredients: Carrots, Raisins, Prunes, Honey 

The Akeidah: Bind, Ram, Test, Mountain 

___ of the Shofar: Blast, Wail, Toot, Sound


Rosh Hashanah Edition #4:  

Seven Days of Creation: Shabbat, Animals, Light, Trees

The Birthday of…: Earth, Globe, Planet, World

Products of Bees: Venom, Honey, Wax, Propolis 

Shanah Tovah Umetukah: Good, And, Sweet, Year


Yom Kippur Edition #1:  

Holy: Day, Cow, Socks, Macaroni

Activities of the Day: Pray, Fast, Atone, Forgive

Re-: Flect, Turn, New, Pent

White: Lie, Noise, Glove, Flag


Yom Kippur Edition #2:  

Sorry: Sight, State, Note, Charlie

Jonah: Storm, Fish, Boat, Prophecy

The Power of Teshuvah: Erase, Delete, Redact, Undo

Goat: Kid, Billy, Scape, Old

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