Bee Roots for 2022-12-24

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/BGINUX
  • Words: 32
  • Points: 158
  • 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, ...)
1BI5Game with a number sheet, marker, and a number caller
1BO7Make a quick short movement up and down (… for apples); short haircut for women
1BO6Sewing machine thread holder
1BO7Wet muddy ground too soft to support something heavy; become stuck in such a place, verb (negotiations …ed down)
1BO5Sound of a spring or jack-in-the-box, noun
1BO6Candy, or 2X “good" in French
1BO6Skeleton part, or what dogs chew & bury; study intensely
1BO4Water pipe for smoking weed, or sound of a large bell
1BO5Paired small drum held between the knees
1BO6Small ape related to chimps
1BO6Express disapproval at a game, verb; what ghosts say
1BO4Breast, slang
1BO6“Owie” you kiss & make better, mistake, or what 2 ghosts say
1BO4Favor, poetic (grant me a …), noun
1BO6Container with a flat bottom, sides, and top, noun; put something in such a container, verb; participate in a sport that involves hitting your opponent, verb
1BU6Bony bump on big toe
1GI6Another small ape related to chimps, or “Decline & Fall of the Roman Empire” author; noun
1GO5Leave; move from one place to another
2GO4,7Orchestra chime or dinner bell
1GO7Make a groove with a sharp tool; overcharge (figurative)
1IN5Where you get mail and memos at work; where you find new emails, compound
1NO6Head, slang (use your…), noun
1NO4Beginner, gamer slang
1NO412:00, midday, 🕛
1NO4In grammar, a person, place or thing
1ON7Leave; move from one place to another
1ON5Veg that makes you cry when cut (for some, this is the "dreaded root veg")
2UN5,8Container with a flat bottom, sides, and top, noun; put something in such a container, verb; participate in a sport that involves hitting your opponent, verb
1UN5Labor org. (Teamsters, AFL-CIO); or in math, what you get from putting sets together

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