NYT Strands today — hints, answers and spangram for Friday, May 31 (game #89)

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

It's time for the final Strands puzzle of the week, and it's a good one. Potentially quite difficult, too, but definitely good fun. If you need some help, you'll find a few clues below – if not, scroll down to see how I did.

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 #89) - hint #1 - today's theme

What is the theme of today's NYT Strands?

Today's NYT Strands theme is… On the yellow brick road

NYT Strands today (game #89) - 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 #89) - hint #3 - spangram

What is a hint for today's spangram?

Close your eyes and click your heels

NYT Strands today (game #89) - 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 #89) - the answers

NYT Strands answers for game 89 on a blue background

(Image credit: New York Times)

The answers to today's Strands, game #89, are…


  • My rating: Moderate
  • My score: Perfect

Ah, the memories of being a kid, curled up on the sofa watching The Wizard of Oz… and being thoroughly freaked out by the witches, the weird flying monkeys and about a dozen other things. 

I've marked this one as moderately difficult, despite the fact that the theme clue, 'On the yellow brick road', was one of the least cryptic we've had so far. The reason for that is that the words themselves were quite hard to find – or at least that was my experience. It took me ages to find even one, SCARECROW, although that did at least lead quickly to WIZARD. 

I spotted SLIPPERS next, but that didn't change color no matter how many times I tried it (and believe me, I tried it multiple times). Then it dawned on me that it might be the spangram instead, and I finally uncovered RUBYSLIPPERS. With that in place the words fell into place far more quickly.

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

Yesterday's NYT Strands answers (Thursday 30 May, game #88)

  • CONE

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).