The NY Times Spelling Bee is a game that’s published daily and weekly by the New York Times. You can play it every day on the NY Times app and There is also a weekly game in the print edition of The New York Times Magazine. If you want to solve popular word games like The New York Times Spelling Bee regularly, you need to be able to think laterally. You must examine multiple perspectives-even those at odds with one another-before you utilize whatever method you have at your disposal to find a solution. In the New York Times Spelling Bee, players make words with a set of seven unique letters, all while using the center letter at least once. Although it’s an easy game to learn, mastering it takes practice. There is a good chance that if you weren’t interested in exploring the vast world of a popular word game like The New York Times Spelling Bee before, you will be now.  However, that raises the question: where does one start? You may be apprehensive about jumping right in, but there are several popular games that you’re likely familiar with that can certainly ease your nerves and even keep you a step ahead of those just like you who are just starting.


Bulls and Cows

What Is It: You might have heard of Bulls and Cows by the names of popular word games such as Mastermind or Jotto. Regardless of the name, the goal remains the same: one player must create a secret word out of a set number of letters. A second player guesses a word; the first player tells the second player how many letters match in their right place (bulls) and how many are correct but in the wrong place (cows).   Why It Helps: You can develop your vocabulary and logical thinking skills by guessing which letters are correctly placed after critically examining your options.


What Is It: The rules of Boggle are simple: you shake a box full of dice with a letter on each side, and the dice land in the grid at the bottom of the box. Using the face-up letters, you then attempt to make as many words as possible.   Why It Helps: Besides encouraging the player to think about the possible words from the remaining set of letters, it also discourages the player from committing to a specific formation of letters prematurely.


What Is It: The classic word game Hangman is played by two players. The first player thinks of a word and writes dashes for each letter. Another player guesses letters of the alphabet. The word has the correct letters inserted, while incorrect letters cause another segment of the “hangman” to be drawn.   Why It Helps: Hangman is also a great way to develop Spelling Bee’s disseminative perspective by further developing deep analytical skills through spelling and vocabulary.

Apples To Apples

What Is It: In Apples to Apples, players have red and green cards – red cards that list people, places, things, etc., and green cards that list two descriptions of those things. The player with the green card chooses one of the descriptions, and the other players choose a card from their hand of red cards. It is up to the judge to decide which red card matches the description.   Why It Helps: Improves deductive reasoning skills and problem-solving abilities.


What Is It: Scrabble, the popular, classic word game, is played with letter tiles on a square-marked board. The amount of points assigned to letters depends on how common they are. (Some squares count as extra points.) A scrabble game looks like the Spelling Bee layout: a combination of words overlapping each other.   Why It Helps: As mentioned earlier, Scrabble has a lot in common with Spelling Bee. Its formation, layout, and critical objective are not too dissimilar compared to the Spelling Bee creations you’ll find in the New York Times. Hence the recommendation that beginner Spelling Bee players cut their teeth on the classic puzzle game for Scrabble’s lateral thinking.    There you have it–our Five Most Popular Word Games to Help You Rock the New York Times Spelling Bee. Do you think there should be more games on this list? Have you transitioned from one of these games into The New York Times’s Spelling Bee and would like to share your experiences? Reply in the comments and let us know!  

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