Bee Roots for 2022-12-31

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/ADILMN
  • Words: 58
  • Points: 231
  • 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, ...)
1AI5Garlic mayonnaise, from French for garlic
1AL6Water-guzzling tree nut
1AM5Protein building block acid, or a NH₂ group, noun
1AM4A supply of bullets, slang abbreviation
1AM7Smelly cleaning fluid, NH₃
1AM5Slang abbr. for a prenatal test that takes fluid from a uterus with a needle, noun
1AN4Soon, poetically
1AN5Atom or molecule with a net electric charge
1DI7Shape of a baseball field, or sparkly gem, noun
1DI5Phallus-shaped sex toy
1DI4Flintstones pet, or T. Rex family abbr.
1DO4Extinct bird; or stupid person, slang
1DO4Small human figure toy such as Barbie, noun; or get all dressed up for a party, verb
1DO5Balkan meat & rice wrapped in leaves
1DO6Area of territory owned or controlled by a ruler or government (eminent …), noun
1DO8Sovereign authority over a country or people (Canada was a … from 1867 to 1951)
1DO6Spotted playing tile (“bones”)
1DO6Thingamajig, slang; ends in “father” nickname
1DO4Terrible fate (they fell to their …), or pioneering 1st person shooter game
1ID5Slang phrase particular to a language (“raining cats & dogs”), noun
1ID4Punk rocker Billy; “American …” TV singing contest; or public figure you worship (…-ize)
1LA7Sheep (wool) oil, used as skin moisturizer
1LI4Chauffeured, stretched car, slang abbr.
1LI4Roaring animal that travels in a pride (… King)
1LL5South American grassy plain
1LO4A unit of laundry, noun; or to fill up a truck, verb
1LO4Fertile, sandy soil
1LO4Borrowed $, noun/verb
1LO4Sex organ region of body (fruit of my …s); anagram of “… King” animal
1LO4Hang out or droop, as a dog’s tongue
1LO4Cloth weaving device
1LO4“Crazy” water bird on Canada $1 coin
1MA6Wealth that’s an evil influence, per the New Testament & Milton
1MA8Lute-like musical instrument, with paired metal strings, pangram (Rod Stewart's "… Wind"; featured instrument on "Maggie May")
1MI71 followed by 6 zeroes
1MI6Underling, as seen in “Despicable Me”
1MO5♀ parent, slang
1MO9Craze, noun (Beatle-…)
1MO4Sound of pain or sexual pleasure (Harry Potter’s ghost “…-ing Myrtle”)
1MO5Grammar, music, logic, stats, & textile adj., relating to structure as opposed to substance, e.g.
1MO4To work hard (archaic); homophone of bris snipper
1MO4Fungal growth, or Jell–O shaper
1MO4Mobster’s ♀
1MO5Soul-like thing in Leibniz' metaphysics; or math (category theory)/computer functional programming term for a single entity (think 1st name of Leonardo’s smiling Lisa + 1st letter of his last name)
1MO5Slang for something huge or remarkable, or Italian for “world”
1MO41–channel sound abbreviation, or glandular fever “kissing disease” abbreviation
1MO8In math, polynomial with only one term
1MO4Emotional state (happy, angry, sad, etc.)
1MO5$, slang (from Fiji)
1MO4NASA Apollo missions landed on or circled it
1NO5Connecting point
1NO5Wanderer; or member of a people without a permanent home, who travel to find food, livestock pastures, or work
1NO7Existing in name only; or a price far below the real value or cost (… fee)
1NO91 followed 30 zeroes; Latin 9 prefix
1NO412:00, midday, 🕛
1OI6♂ who works in the petroleum industry
1OL4Mixture, or spicy Spanish stew, NOT margarine
1ON5Veg that makes you cry when cut (for some, this is the "dreaded root veg")

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