Bee Roots for 2022-12-23

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: H/AEILNT
  • Words: 50
  • Points: 217
  • Pangrams: 1
Source: Montgomery Exterminating

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, ...)
1AN10Utterly destroy, obliterate
1AN7Mound made by industrious six-legged creatures
1AT7Person proficient in sports
1ET6Two-carbon chain
1HA4Frozen rain “stone,” noun; or summon a taxi, verb
1HA5Kosher in Islam
1HA4Strong, well, fit (… & hearty); or Revolutionary War patriot Nathan
1HA6Rock salt
1HA4Corridor, or Let’s Make a Deal’s Monty
1HA4Come to a complete & sudden stop, verb
1HA4Dislike intensely, verb/noun
1HA4Archaic 3rd person singular present form of "possess" (Hell … no fury)
1HA5Yoga type that pairs poses with breathing
1HE4Recover from injury
1HE6Physical well-being (in sickness & in …)
1HE4Warm up in the oven, verb; or extreme warmth, noun
1HE5Candy bar with toffee & milk chocolate, actor Ledger, or British field
1HE7Infidel; pagan; outside any widely held religion
1HE4Back of your foot (Achilles’ weakness), noun; or (of a dog) follow closely
1HE6A person’s buttocks, slang
1HE4Satan’s domain
1HE5Hair or temp. tattoo dye
1HI4What Jack & Jill went up
1HI4Sword or dagger handle
1HI4Clue, suggestion, noun/verb
2IN6,8The phase of breathing that expands your chest
1LA4Flat strip of wood, often plastered as wallboard
1LA5Wood-shaping machine, noun/verb
1LE6Fatal (“… Weapon” films)
1LI5Skinny, supple, & graceful (her…figure)
1NE5Under; below (drop the first syllable for a dated literary form)
1NI5Number of justices on Supreme Court
1NI10One more than the number of holes on a golf course
1NI9XC in Roman numerals
1TA6Middle Eastern sesame seed paste or sauce
1TE5What you use to chew, plural
1TE6When the things you use to chew start to emerge, you chew on everything, and you drool all the time
1TE10Medical care over the phone or video chat
1TE5Between nine and eleven
1TH4Comparison word (bigger … a breadbox)
1TH5Feudal lord, ranking between an ordinary freeman and a hereditary noble
1TH4Pronoun for the other thing (this & …)
1TH4Archaic form of “you”
1TH4At that time, or next; adv. (not always, but every now & …)
1TH58th Greek letter, Θ
1TH4Skinny, adj. (… Mints)
1TH5Yours, archaic singular
1TI5Cultivation of land, or prepped soil surface, noun; rhymes with “extreme dirt” synonym
1TI5Give 10% of your income to the Church

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