Bee Roots for 2022-12-06

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: U/CDELOP
  • Words: 57
  • Points: 288
  • Pangrams: 3

Table content

  • with first two letters of answer and length
answers coveredanswer's first two lettersanswer's lengthclue for root (answer may need prefix, suffix, tense change, alt spelling, ...)
1CE7Prison “room,” or smallest unit of an organism
2CL5,7Where rain comes from, noun/verb
2CL4,5Hint, or what a detective seeks (Get a …!), noun/verb
1CO5Cylindrical metal container, noun; be capable, verb, fire from a job (slang verb)
2CO7,8Cooperate in a secret or unlawful way
1CO6Deep ravine, or lava flow; from French “to flow” (Grand … Dam in WA)
1CO4Sudden, violent, and illegal seizure of power from a government
1CO5Car with a fixed roof, two doors, and a sloping rear
2CO6,7Two people who are closely associated romantically or sexually, noun; or combine, verb; or have sex, verb
2CU6,7Hold close for affection
1CU4Something that signals an actor or other performer, noun/verb
2CU4,6Remove unwanted from the herd
1CU6Small bowl with a handle that you can drink from, noun/verb
2DE8,9Two people who are closely associated romantically or sexually, noun; or combine, verb; or have sex, verb
2DE6,7Draw a logical conclusion
2DE6,7Believe true even when you know better
1DE5A playing card with the number 2 on it (the … of spades), noun
2DU4,5Slang for “guy” (Aerosmith “… Looks Like a Lady”), noun; dress up elaborately, verb
2DU4,6Pistol fight at dawn
2DU4,6Not shiny, adjective/verb
2DU4,5Trick (… into)
1DU5In music, rhythm based on two main beats to the measure
2ED5,6Formal verb meaning to draw out something hidden
2EL5,6Dodge, or fail to be grasped
1LO4Sound at high volume
1LO5Magnifying glass without a handle, homophone of curve that rejoins itself, noun
2LU4,6Soothe (… into a false sense of security), verb; or a pause in activity, noun
1LU4Doozy, or “To Sir With Love” singer
2OC7,8Stop, close up, or obstruct an opening, orifice, or passage
1PU4Dark red or purple-brown color
2PU6,7Small pool of rainwater on the ground, noun/verb
2PU4,5Literary for “whimper” (usually ends in –ING)
2PU4,6Tug on, verb
2PU4,6Soft, wet, shapeless mass (“… Fiction” film), or floating bits of fruit in orange juice, noun/verb
1UP5Toward a higher place, position, or volume (turn … the music), adv./prep./adj./noun/verb
1UP4Women's hairstyle in which the hair is swept up and fastened away from the face and neck

About this site

This site provides clues for a day's New York Times Spelling Bee puzzle. It follows in Kevin Davis' footsteps. The original set of 4,500 clues came from him, and they still make up about three quarters of the current clue set.

The "Bee Roots" approach is to provide explicit clues for root words, not every word. 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