Bee Roots for 2023-01-01

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: E/ACLNOW
  • Words: 43
  • Points: 147
  • 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, ...)
1AC4Teen facial zits
1AE4Geologic time period, spelled with an æsc; “… Flux” anime
1AL6(Bio term) 1 of 2 or more versions of a gene
1AL9Money your parents give you each week or each month when you're a kid, pangram
1AL4Sunburn gel from “… vera” plant
1AL5Solitary (… wolf, e.g.), adj.
1AN6Heat then cool metal or glass slowly to toughen it
1AN4Opposite of old
1CA6Nix, scrub (a concert, game, date, or show; e.g.)
1CA4Walking stick, or striped peppermint Xmas crook
1CA5Narrow boat with pointed ends, propelled by paddling, noun/verb
1CE4Prison “room,” or smallest unit of an organism
1CE5Yo-Yo Ma’s instrument (also Pablo Casals')
1CL5Make tidy, verb (… your room, young man!); or dirt-free, adj.
1CL5Identical (genetic) copy, or make one, noun/verb
1CO7Irish term for a young ♀
1CO7Military rank between major & general (Hogan & Klink, e.g.)
1CO7Keep from sight, or keep something secret; verb (use…-er to hide facial blemishes)
1CO4Ice cream holder shape
1EL4Énérgy, stylé, énthusiasm; from Frénch
1EN6Frilly fabric, or shoestring
1LA4Frilly fabric, or shoestring
1LA5Cavalry pole weapon, noun/verb
1LA4Small road (Beatles’ Penny … or Superman’s Lois …)
1LE4Not fatty (… meat), adj.; or incline (… back in your chair)
1LO6Place where something happens (exotic …)
1LO4Solitary (… wolf, e.g.), adj.
1NE4Hawaiian goose & state bird
1NE6Person with non-traditional right-wing political views, slang abbr.
1NE4Atomic number 10, gas in lighted signs
1NE5Supporting post on a staircase or railing
1NO4Xmas time, or playwright Coward
1NO5Literary word meaning “for the [time being]”
1NO4Quantity of zero; “all” antonym
1OC5Enormous body of salt water
1ON4A single time (they deliver … a week)
1WA4Ridge on fabric (corduroy, e.g.) or a ship (gun-…), NOT large marine mammal
1WA4Decrease (esp. moon), NOT Batman alter ego Bruce
1WE4Archaic noun for that which is best for someone or something (common-…); remove –THY from end of rich synonym
1WE4Taper someone off of, esp. mother’s milk
1WE4Hole in ground you draw water from
1WO6Warm, itchy knitted fabric made from sheep hair, noun/adj.

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