Bee Roots for 2022-03-08

The table provides clues for the roots of words in today's NY Times Spelling Bee. You're responsible for prefixes, suffixes, tense changes, plurals, doubling consonants before suffixes, and alternate spellings of roots. An exception: since Sam won't allow S, when the root contains an S, the clue may be for a plural or suffixed form. "Mice" for example. If a clue isn't self-explanatory, try googling it. The TL;DR about the site comes after the table.

Past clues are available here

Today's puzzle
  • Letters: R/GHOTUW
  • Words: 34
  • Points: 159
  • Pangrams: 2
National flower of Ukraine (Source:

Table content

  • with first two letters of answer and length
root #answers coveredanswer's first two lettersanswer's lengthclue for root (answer may need prefix, suffix, tense change, alt spelling, ...)
11GR4Watered-down (nautical) rum
41GR4Get bigger (kid, plant), verb + noun
31GR5Paste for filling gaps in tiles
21GR6Small picturesque cave (the Blue … in Capri)
41GR6Get bigger (kid, plant), verb + noun
51GU4Indian spiritual teacher
71HO460 minutes
61HO6Scary Steven King genre
81HU4Injure(physically or emotionally), verb/adj.
91OU5Closing show music (antonym begins with IN–)
41OU7Get bigger (kid, plant), verb + noun
41OU9Get bigger (kid, plant), verb + noun
101RO4Plant anchor that sucks up water
141RO4Disorderly retreat, or decisive defeat
121RO5Device or blade that spins
131RO5Not smooth (cat’s tongue, sandpaper)
111RO6Cheap liquor (literally, what it does to your stomach)
181TH5Hurl (a baseball, e.g.)
151TH8Rigorous, meticulous (… understanding, … examination)
171TH10In every part of (“English is spoken …the US)
191TO4Bull, Spanish
201TO4Legal wrong, NOT pastry
211TO4Take a guided one of these in a foreign city (on a … bus?) adj/noun/verb
221TR4Fast walking pace for horses or people
231TR5Archaic var. of “honesty”; you pledge your … in marriage vows
251TR5Common game fish (rainbow …, e.g.)
261TR5Honesty (“… or dare”)
241TR6Long, narrow container for feeding & watering livestock
271TU5Private instructor
281WO4Medicinal plant (St. John’s …), or liquid extract from brewing grains
291WO5Value (net …)
301WR5Angry, archaic
311WR7Archaic participle of “work” (biblical “What hath God …”), perfect pangram

About this site

This site provides clues for a day's New York Times Spelling Bee puzzle. It exists to make it easier for Kevin Davis to take a day off. Most of the clues come from him. There may be some startup problems, but long term I think I can put the clues together with no more than half an hour's work.

The "Bee Roots" approach is to provide explicit clues for root words, not every word. This is similar to what Kevin Davis does, but without information about parts of speech As logophiles, we are pretty good at putting on prefixes and suffixes, changing tense, and forming plurals (including Latin plurals!). The clues cover root words, arranged alphabetically by root word, with a count of words in the puzzle that come from each root. For example, if a puzzle includes ROAM and ROAMING, there will be a clue for ROAM and a count of 2. The root may not appear in the puzzle at all; for example, the 2021-07-23 Bee included ICED, DEICE, and DEICED. For such a puzzle, the clue would be for ICE with a word count of 3.

The Bee Roots approach involves judgement sometimes. For example, if a puzzle includes LOVE, LOVED, and LOVELY, how many roots are needed to cover them? LOVE and LOVED share the root LOVE, certainly, but LOVELY is tricky. LOVE is part of its etymology, but by now, the word means "exquisitely beautiful," which is a lot farther from the meaning of LOVE than swithcing to past tense. I'm inclined to treat LOVE and LOVELY as separate roots. You may not agree, which is fine. Another thing we logophiles share is a LOVE of arguing about words on Twitter.

One last complication, until another one pops up: a few roots have multiple spellings, for example LOLLYGAG and LALLYGAG. Depending on the day's letters, and maybe even the editor's whims, one or both could be in the puzzle's answer list. With such roots, you could see a word count of 2, even if there are no applicable prefixes or suffixes.

I will do my best to keep this site up to date and helpful (I hope). Check it out, and tweet feedback to @donswartwout Tweet to @donswartwout

Many thanks to Kevin Davis, whose 4,500-word clue list made this possible.