Bee Roots for 2022-12-16

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: P/AIORTY
  • Words: 59
  • Points: 263
  • Pangrams: 1

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, ...)
1AI7Where you catch flights; compound; ends in list word
1AP5Separately (… from that), or in pieces (taken …)
1AP6Honey-producing beehive collection
1AP7Soviet admin system (…-chik)
1AT4Opposite of bottom
1PA4Twosome (socks, aces, e.g.)
1PA4Father, slang
1PA6Tropical fruit with black seeds
1PA5Slang term for father or grandfather
1PA6Egyptian writing sheet made from plant fiber
1PA9Squad of soldiers who drop from planes; (…-er)
1PA6State or condition of being equal, esp. status or pay (achieve …), noun
1PA6Talking tropical bird, noun; or to mimic someone, verb (pic of me)
1PA5Ward off a weapon with a countermove, esp. in fencing
1PA4Some but not all, or line combed into hair
1PA7Musical suite of variations, usually for a solo instrument
1PA5Celebration (birthday …, retirement, toga, e.g.)
1PA5Outdoor terrace adjoining a house, from Spanish (… furniture)
1PA7Person who vigorously supports their country & is prepared to defend it against enemies or detractors (… Act or missile)
1PA5Peppermint candy (& friend of Marcie in “Peanuts”) or burger form
1PI5Ground-dwelling bird that wags its tail & is named for its song
1PI4Flat bread with a pocket, often dipped in hummus or filled with falafel
1PI7Rhyming, usually hyphenated, adv. for rapid beating (my heart went …)
1PI4Feeling of sorrow for someone who’s had misfortunes, noun or verb (Mr. T: “I … the fool ...”)
1PO4Tire out (I’m …-ed); or defecate, slang verb/noun
1PO4Lacking $, or worse than ideal
1PO5Flower used to make opium or honor veterans
1PO4Nautical “left,” harbor, or wine from Lisbon
1PO8Depiction of someone on canvas (… artist, self …)
1PO7Depict someone (as an actor or on canvas)
1PO5Kid’s toilet
1PR4Brit slang for a fool or butt (“…fall”); similar to “Jurassic Park” actor Chris
1PR4Appeal to God; what you do in a house of worship
2PR5,6Existing before in time, adj. (Sorry, I have a … engagement)
1PR8Fact or condition of being regarded as more important (The pilot’s top … is landing safely)
1PR4Support (… up), verb; on-stage object or ballot initiative abbr., noun
1PY4“…-maniac” who likes to start fires, slang abbr.
1RA7Close relationship with good communications
1RA4Fascinated, mesmerized; adj.
1RA6Carnivorous bird (eagle. hawk, owl, vulture) or dinosaur (veloci-…)
1RA7Device to catch large rodents, or a run-down place, compound
1RO4Strong cord made by twisting together strands of fibers, noun/verb
1TA4Spanish bar snack (usually plural)
1TA5Animal similar in appearance to a pig, lives in Central & S America & SE Asia (my pic)
1TA7Central plant anchor that grows straight down (others branch off it) & sucks up water; compound; a carrot is one
1TA4Waterproof sheet used as outdoor roof, abbr.
1TI5The end of a pointed thing, noun; money given for good service, noun/verb
1TI6Rhyming compound adj. that means “of the very best quality” (in … condition) (compound)
1TO7Art of clipping shrubs & trees into ornamental shapes, perfect pangram
1TO6Lethargy, not quite hibernation
1TR4Device for catching things
2TR4,6Journey, noun (you’ve won a … to Paris!), or stumble (… over your own 2 feet), verb
1TR5Soldiers (usually plural), or unit of Boy or Girl Scouts
1TY4Keybord eror, slang
1YA5Sharp, shrill bark; slang term for a person's mouth; Pacific island with giant coins

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