What is a right whale? NYT Connections sends puzzlers to Google

Did you know there is such a thing as a right whale?

Some of us didn't. At least one of us wondered whether it was some cultural phenomenon we missed — something like "Left Shark." Search traffic on Google jumped on Thursday, March 28, as people failed to solve the NYT Connections puzzle, where the term appeared.

What is NYT Connections?

In the vein of Wordle, Connections is another word game offered in the New York Times Games app. It requires the player to look at a grid of words and choose which go together, in groups of four.

Why was the right whale in NYT Connections?

One of the categories in the solution was "Kinds of whales" and included blue, fin, gray and right.

How to play NYT Connections

A new puzzle is available daily on the NYT Games app or in your desktop browser at www.nytimes.com/games/connections. In both places, you can also find other word games including Spelling Bee, Wordle, the classic crossword and a mini crossword.

About the right whale

According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's fisheries department, the North Atlantic species of right whale is one of the most endangered whales. Commercial whalers began to hunt it by the early 1890s, according to the government organization, and they were named "right" whales "from being the 'right' whales to hunt, because they floated when they were killed." According to NOAA, about 360 North Atlantic right whales still exist, with fewer than 70 reproductively active females.

NOAA lists two other species of right whale: North Pacific (found in the North Pacific Ocean) and Southern (found in the Southern hemisphere).

Read more about the right whale and what's being done to protect the species at fisheries.noaa.gov.

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This article originally appeared on Indianapolis Star: What is a right whale? Clue on NYT connections causes confusion