Bee Roots for 2022-12-20

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: T/CEILOV
  • Words: 49
  • Points: 205
  • 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, ...)
1CI4Quote as evidence
1CI5Asian & African “cat” used for perfume
1CL4Lump of blood that stops bleeding or circulation
2CO7,10Gather (used plates), solicit & receive (charity $), or acquire (rare coins); verb
1CO6Flange or socket for setting a gem
1CO4Young ♂ horse
1CO4Foolish old ♂, or water bird
1CO6Kid’s imaginary germ, or a body louse
1CO4Dove shelter, NOT a jacket
1CO5Yearn to possess (thy neighbor’s wife)
1EC8Wide-ranging tastes, styles, or ideas; adj.
3EL5,7,8Vote into office
1EL6Draw out a response, verb
1EL5Select group that’s superior
2EV5,7Kick out of an apartment
1IL7Not forbidden by law or custom
1LI5Not forbidden by law or custom
1LI4Singsong accent
1LI4Low-calorie or low-fat in ad-speak (Miller … beer)
1LI6Small (Stuart or Chicken …), adj.
1LO4Pirate treasure, noun; or to steal during a riot, verb
1LO5State-sponsored numbers betting ticket (Powerball, e.g.)
1OC6Small S Am wild cat
1OC5Group of 8 (musicians)
1TE4Inform, verb; or Swiss archer William with an overture
1TI4Thin ceramic wall, counter, flooring, or roofing square
1TI4Cash register or drawer, noun; “up to,” preposition; or prep soil for planting, verb
1TI4Move into a sloping position, or fight windmills (… at)
1TI5Name of a book, movie, or job, noun/verb
1TI6Dot above an i or j, or really small amount
1TO4Work hard (… away, trying to find the last few Spelling Bee words)
1TO5Fabric for making “test” garments; add a vowel to end of above
1TO6Commode; add a consonant to end of above
1TO8Archaic, French term for the process of cleaning oneself (Eau de …)
1TO4Road use fee (paid at a booth)
1TO4An implement (hammer & screwdriver, e.g.); often stored in a …box
1TO4Short horn sound; noun/verb
1TO6Drive or move in a leisurely manner, or play gently or repeatedly on a flute
1TO4Reusable bag, noun; or schlep, verb
1VE6Soft fabric, developing antler cover, or Lou Reed’s “… Underground” rock band
1VE4Presidential rejection of a Congressional bill, noun/verb
1VI6Bluish purple; or a flower of that color; opposite end of the visible light spectrum from red
1VO4Unit of electric potential (110 … socket)
1VO4What you do on Election Day, noun/verb
1VO6Pledged (offering), adj. (she lit a … candle at the altar)

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