Bee Roots for 2022-12-09

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: G/AELMNT
  • Words: 69
  • Points: 358
  • Pangrams: 2

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, ...)
1AG5Banded quartz, perhaps a toy marble
1AG5Person who acts on behalf of another person or group (secret …)
1AG5Shoelace tip protector
1AG6Shine brightly, especially with reflected light, verb/noun
3AL4,5,5Pond scum
1AL6Claim without proof
2AM7,10Mixture or blend (Ag/Hg dental fillings, e.g.)
1AN5Harp-playing winged heaven resident, or Xmas tree topper
1AN5They can be acute, right, or obtuse
2EA5,6A bald one is the USA's national bird
1EL7Graceful and stylish in appearance or manner
2EN6,10Commit to marry (with an …-ment ring)
2EN8,12Twist together into a confused mass, verb/noun
1GA4Super enthusiastic; Biden inauguration National Anthem singer
1GA6A “herd” of geese
1GA4Formal ball or fundraiser (The Met …, e.g.)
1GA8Asian plant of the ginger family, widely used in cooking and medicine
1GA4Strong wind storm
1GA7French flat fruit pie
1GA4Liver secretion, or bold behavior
1GA7Brave, heroic
1GA4Competitive form of play (poker, soccer, Scrabble, etc.)
1GA7Indonesian orchestra made up especially of percussion instruments
1GA6Bio term for mature reproductive cell (sperm, e.g.); add 2 letters to above
1GA5Γ, γ (3rd Greek letter), & shortest-length EM radiation (… rays)
1GA4Group of thugs ("Working on the Chain …"), noun/verb
1GA4Hinged barrier, or airplane boarding area
1GA4Measuring dial (fuel …)
1GE5(Smucker’s) fruit preserve, or cosmetic cream, French spelling (with 3 E’s)
1GE4Yiddish for $, bet during dreidel game
1GE4DNA sequence that determines traits, or singing cowboy Autry
1GE4♂ counterpart to “lady,” slang abbr.
1GE7Polite, refined, or respectable
1GE6Tender (… caress or touch), moderate, or soft
2GE9,9Chivalrous, courteous, or honorable ♂
1GL4Movie star beauty & style; or women’s magazine
1GL5Shine brightly, especially with reflected light, verb/noun
1GL5Gather info from various sources, or take leftover grain after a harvest
1GL4Delight, choir (… club), or TV show about a HS choir
1GL4Narrow valley, or Eagles singer Frey
1GN4Tiny flying insect
1LE5Law adj. (not forbidden by law)
1LE6General or governor of an ancient Roman province, or their deputy; or a member of the clergy, esp. a cardinal, representing the Pope
1LE7Person who receives a legacy
1MA4Literary term for a wizard
1MA7Light purplish red
1MA5Hot fluid below Earth’s crust; lava before it’s erupted
1MA7Wealthy and influential person, especially in business
1MA6Metal that attracts materials such as iron, steel, or nickel
2MA6,10Administer (she got promoted to …ment)
1MA5Japanese graphic novels
1MA5Skin disease caused by mites, especially in dogs
1MA6Severely mutilate, disfigure, or damage
1ME4Greek prefix for large, often used to mean 1 million
1ME7Mixture or medley
1NA7Sticker you wear to identify yourself, compound
1NE6Nullify; make ineffective
1TA4Strong taste, flavor, or smell; astronaut orange juice
1TA7Completely different line of thought or action (sometimes I go off on a …); (math) a line or plane that approximates a curve or surface at a point
1TA6Twist together into a confused mass, verb/noun
1TE7Between twelve and twenty

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