NYT Strands today — hints, answers and spangram for Sunday, April 21 (game #49)

NYT Strands homescreen on a mobile phone screen, on a light blue background
(Image credit: New York Times)

Either today's NYT Strands game is the toughest for weeks or I was off form today. I suspect it's a little of column A, a little of column B. Give it a go and see how you fare – and take advantage of my Strands hints if you need help finding the answers.

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

Your Strands expert
Marc McLaren
Your Strands expert
Marc McLaren

Marc is TechRadar’s Global Editor in Chief and has been obsessed with Wordle and its ilk for more than two years. He's authored dozens of articles on the game for TechRadar, including a daily today's Wordle answer column and a detailed analysis of the most common letters in Wordle in every position. He's also played every Wordle ever and only lost once and yes, he takes it all too seriously.

NYT Strands today (game #49) - hint #1 - today's theme

What is the theme of today's NYT Strands?

Today's NYT Strands theme is… That's life!

NYT Strands today (game #49) - hint #2 - clue words

What are some good clue words today?

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







NYT Strands today (game #49) - hint #3 - spangram

What is a hint for today's spangram?

Landmark events

NYT Strands today (game #49) - hint #4 - spangram position

Where does today's spangram start and end?

Start: bottom, 3rd column

End: left, 4th row

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

NYT Strands today (game #49) - the answers

NYT Strands answers to game #49 on a blue background

(Image credit: New York Times)

The answers to today's Strands, game #49, are…

  • VOTE

  • My rating: Very tough
  • My score: Two hints

Wow! Where to start here then? Well, I guess I can begin with how tough it is – answer: very.

Your mileage may vary, of course, but it certainly foxed me, and I needed two hints to solve today's Strands puzzle, for the first time since my very first game several weeks ago.

The problem, for me at least, was that the theme was so vague. Yes, after I'd solved it all it became a little clearer, but 'Milestones' is a lot less focused than, for instance, things you use for sewing or ways of walking.

I was also totally thrown by the spangram. This was a misreading on my part, but it was my understanding that the spangram would always go from one side of the board to the other – top to bottom or vice-versa, or left to right/right to left. Today's doesn't do that – it goes from bottom to right to left, and for that reason I simply couldn't find it until there was no other path left for it, once I'd found all of the other words.

On reflection, this is my mistake. The rules state that "The spangram describes the puzzle’s theme and touches two opposite sides of the board. It may be two words." Note that it doesn't say it only touches two opposite sides. So today's does satisfy that requirement. And in fairness, it also happened with TAILORING for game #46, I just didn't notice it there because I found it an easy NYT Strands puzzle to solve in general.

My solving strategy here was therefore one of brute force. I played as many words as I could, without necessarily realizing they were part of an overall pattern, until I had three of them: SPEAK, CRAWL and MARRY. At this point I realized what was going on, but I still struggled to find either other examples or what the spangram might be, so ended up using those hints. Maybe that's because the NYT's milestones are not necessarily what mine would be. Sure, voting and graduating and driving are all things I've done, but none were massively notable for me compared to other landmark events such as going to my first music festival or becoming a father (the latter is obviously more of a big deal than the former, though my 18-year-old self would not have predicted that).

Anyway, I got there in the end. Let's hope tomorrow's is a little easier, yes?

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

Yesterday's NYT Strands answers (Saturday 20 April, game #48)

  • TREK

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.

Marc McLaren
Global Editor in Chief

Marc is TechRadar’s Global Editor in Chief, the latest in a long line of senior editorial roles he’s held in a career that started the week that Google launched (nice of them to mark the occasion). Prior to joining TR, he was UK Editor in Chief on Tom’s Guide, where he oversaw all gaming, streaming, audio, TV, entertainment, how-to and cameras coverage. He's also a former editor of the tech website Stuff and spent five years at the music magazine NME, where his duties mainly involved spoiling other people’s fun. He’s based in London, and has tested and written about phones, tablets, wearables, streaming boxes, smart home devices, Bluetooth speakers, headphones, games, TVs, cameras and pretty much every other type of gadget you can think of. An avid photographer, Marc likes nothing better than taking pictures of very small things (bugs, his daughters) or very big things (distant galaxies). He also enjoys live music, gaming, cycling, and beating Wordle (he authors the daily Wordle today page).