Bee Roots for 2023-01-06

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: M/ACIOTX
  • Words: 30
  • Points: 112
  • 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, ...)
1AM4A supply of bullets, slang abbreviation
2AT4,6Basic unit of matter, “… Ant” superhero, noun/adjective (… bomb)
2AX5,9Statement or proposition which is regarded as being established, accepted, or self-evidently true; a dictum or truism; noun
1CA4♀ sleeveless undergarment top, slang abbr.
1CA4Clothing that helps you hide, slang abbr.
1CO4Prolonged unconscious state
1CO5Paid jokester, or “… book” with superheroes
1CO5Curly punctuation mark that separates phrases
1CO6Perpetrate, pledge, or put into a mental ward
1IM4Prayer leader at mosque
1MA4Permanently injure
2MA4,5♀ parent, slang
1MA4A skirt, dress, or coat that reaches to the ankle
1MA5Short, pithy statement that expresses a general truth or rule of conduct
1MA6The largest value of some quantity
1MI4Flaky rock that breaks off in sheets
1MI5Parrot someone’s speaking & mannerisms, verb; or the person doing it, noun
1MI4Catcher’s glove, or Sen. Romney
1MO5♀ parent, slang
1MO4Water ditch surrounding a castle
1MO4Irrelevant, in law (it’s a … point)
1MO5Short phrase encapsulating beliefs of an institution (Marines’ “Semper Fi”)
1OM4Leave out, verb
1TA6Japanese & dojo floor mats (畳)
1TO6Ketchup & ragù fruit
1TO6♂ feline, compound that starts with a ♂ name (Selleck, Petty, e.g.)
1TO6New Zealand small bird (Magnum, P.I star 1st name + breast, slang)

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