Bee Roots for 2023-01-05

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: F/EGILNU
  • Words: 48
  • Points: 273
  • Pangrams: 4

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, ...)
1EL5Small, delicate, impish; as a Keebler worker, adj.
2EN6,9Overwhelm (think body of water—the … of Mexico) (the building was … in flames)
2FE4,7Perceive by touch; or experience (emotion)
2FE5,8Pretend to have a particular feeling (… enthusiasm)
1FE6Cat adj.
2FE4,7Cut or knock down (a tree or opponent, e.g.)
1FE6Veg & seed used in cooking, esp. Italian
1FI4Medieval for feudal land or area of control; often has –DOM suffix
2FI4,6Small flute used with a drum in military bands, noun/verb
2FI4,6Folder of related papers, or tool for smoothing edges (fingernails, e.g.), noun/verb
2FI4,7Add material until the container or hole is at capacity
2FI4,6Impose a $ penalty (the judge …d him $100 for speeding)
2FL4,7Run away from danger, NOT a bug that causes itching
3FL5,5,8Throw forcefully (monkeys often … poop at spectators)
1FL4Chimney duct, NOT a seasonal illness
2FL5,8Dryer lint, noun, or what you do to a flat pillow (… up)
2FU4,7Gasoline or oil, e.g., noun; or add it to a tank (… up)
1FU4Japanese toxic pufferfish that’s carefully prepared before eating
1FU5Music with multiple voices & a recurring melody that varies (Bach’s “Toccata &…in D Minor”)
2FU7,10Bring to reality (… your dreams), or carry out a duty (… your obligations)
1FU4At capacity (I can’t finish the meal, I’m …), adj.
1FU5Spore-producing organism that grows on organic matter, including mold, yeast, mushrooms, and toadstools
2FU6,9Pouring tool that’s wide at top & narrow at bottom, noun; or guide something through something else
1GL7Delight, choir (… club), or TV show about a HS choir
1GU4Foolish talk (think start of a loud, boisterous laugh) (She doesn’t take … from anyone)
1GU8Sly or cunning intelligence
1GU4Deep sea inlet with narrow mouth (… of Mexico, Persian …)
1IN6Add material until the container or hole is at capacity
1IN9Material that plugs a hole, noun; or build on vacant land in a dense city
1LI4Cereal Mikey prefers, board game, or “death” antonym
1LI8What a palm reader checks to see when you’ll die, or “Who Wants to be a Millionaire” friend assistance, compound
1UN9Perceive by touch; or experience (emotion)
1UN12Bring to reality (… your dreams), or carry out a duty (… your obligations)

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