Only Connect’s Victoria Coren Mitchell savages New York Times over ‘new’ game

Victoria Coren Mitchell has hit out at The New York Times (NYT) after it published a trial version of its new game Connections. The British quiz show presenter pointed out that it was suspiciously similar to her very own long-running BBC programme. In the NYT game, participants are asked to group things that share a common thread; the only difference to Ms Coren Mitchell’s “Only Connect” is that there is no time limit. A four strikes rule is in place instead and the player is automatically alerted when they get a connection correct.

Ms Coren Mitchell mocked a social media post announcing the new game by Wyna Liu, the paper’s associate puzzle editor, calling the NYT out for apparently ripping it off.

Puzzles are big business for The New York Times , where online brain teasers, including the hit British-originated game Wordle, were played four billion times last year.

In a follow-up to their success with Wordle, the NYT released a trial version of their new game on Monday, created by Wyna Liu.

In a post on Twitter announcing the game, Ms Liu wrote: “Very excited to share the game I’ve been working on, Connections! I’ve loved making it, and hope you enjoy playing.”

However, the game has angered quizzers after Only Connect’s Ms Coren Mitchell asked whether America’s leading liberal paper had noticed its similarities to a round on the BBC2 show.

Ms Coren Mitchell responded to Ms Liu’s post to point out that the two games appeared starkly similar.

She wrote: “Do you know this has been a TV show in the UK since 2008?! It’s so similar I guess you must do?”

Others rallied to support the presenter, with former contestant Kat Brown commenting: “Er, I was on the TV show of this game just this year. THE EIGHTEENTH SEASON of this show.”

Senior writer for Only Connect Mike Turner added: “If you need a hand at all, I’ve written over 750 of these for Only Connect.”

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And Rob Hunt joked: “What are you going to invent next – the crossword?”

The famously challenging quiz show – which first aired in September 2008 – has run for 436 episodes on BBC Four and BBC Two.

Ms Liu – who has previously worked as a jewellery maker and a freelance crossword constructor – has been flooded with comments pointing out the similarity since she posted her new project on social media.

The NYT has previously looked to British puzzle-making talent to introduce its audiences to new game formats. Wordle, which has been played two billion times on its platform, was made by the Welsh software engineer Josh Wardle in 2013.

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