Bee Roots for 2022-12-13

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: O/ABCEKL
  • Words: 54
  • Points: 220
  • Pangrams: 3
Source: The Italian Cultural Foundation at Casa Belvedere

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, ...)
1AL9Distribute (resources) for a particular purpose
1AL4Sunburn gel from “… vera” plant
1BA8Valve that automatically fills a tank after liquid has been drawn from it, compound
1BA6African tree
1BL4Gelatinous mass, or 1950s alien horror film
1BL4Group of like-minded voters
2BL5,9large solid piece of hard material, especially rock, stone, or wood, typically with flat surfaces on each side, noun; or prevent from moving in a particular direction, verb
1BL5Brit & Aussie slang for guy
1BO4Taiwan sweet tea with gelatin pearls
1BO6Type of “head” doll that nods when moved
1BO5Italian game similar to lawn bowling
1BO4Dark German lager, or chicken sound
1BO4Thrown weighted string weapon
1BO4Cotton seed target for weevil
1BO4Western string tie
1BO4Breast, slang
1BO6“Owie” you kiss & make better, mistake, or what 2 ghosts say
2BO4,8Printed novel, noun; or reserve something, verb
1CA5Bean source of Hershey Bars
1CA8Caribbean veg dish
1CE9Large building subdivided into separate prison cells
1CE5Yo-Yo Ma’s instrument (also Pablo Casals')
1CL6Combo sex & waste cavity in non-mammals
1CL5Sleeveless jacket, or espionage “… & dagger” term
1CL5It tells time
1CO4“Dirty fuel” dug from mines; what Santa puts in your stocking if you’re bad
1CO6Repair or make, especially shoes; make or put together roughly or hastily
1CO41st part of popular soda brand name
1CO4Rooster, or slang for penis
1CO6Edible bivalve marine mollusk with a pretty shell, or slang for your core (it warms the…s of my heart)
1CO5Hot winter drink with marshmallows, or the powder it’s made from
1CO4Pepsi rival, or slang abbr. for drug people snort
1CO4Pepsi & RC dark brown soda flavor
2CO4,8Prep or heat food
1CO8Bound, printed recipes (e.g. Fanny Farmer’s), compound
1CO4“Warm” antonym, or “neat!”
1KA5Grilled meat or veg on a stick, spelling var.
1KO5Tree climbing marsupial “bear”
1KO4Small African tree with nuts that flavor Pepsi
1KO4Crazy or eccentric person, NOT a chef
1LO4Brain section, or part of ear most commonly pierced
1LO4Wolf, Spanish
1LO5From a nearby area, or a train making all stops
1LO6Place where something happens (exotic …)
2LO4,8A door fastener with a key, noun/verb
1LO4Crazy, Spanish
1LO4Hang out or droop, as a dog’s tongue
1LO4Direct one’s gaze toward someone or something, verb/noun
1OB4Double reed orchestra-tuning instrument

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