Bee Roots for 2023-01-12

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: N/ABLOTY
  • Words: 48
  • Points: 221
  • Pangrams: 1
Source: National Today

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, ...)
1AN4Uptight, or butt-related; adj.
1AN5Yearly record book
1AN5Irritate, vex, irk
1AN4Soon, poetically
1AN6Opening at the end of the alimentary canal through which solid waste matter leaves the body
2AT6,8Character of sound, a sound (dial or ring-); noun; give greater strength or firmness to a body or a muscle; verb
1BA6Large monkey with red butt
1BA7Helium or air filled toy that can pop
2BA5,7Unoriginal, dull
1BA6Common yellow plantain variety
1BA6Indian “strangler” fig tree
1BA5Thin stick used by a conductor or passed in a relay race
2BL7,9Bad behavior, open and unashamed
1BO6Candy, or 2X “good" in French
1BO4Skeleton part, or what dogs chew & bury; study intensely
1BO5Scottish “attractive” lass, or Prince Charlie adj.
1BO6Small ape related to chimps
1BO4Favor, poetic (grant me a …), noun
1BO6Study of plants
1LA7Tropical perennial flowering plant in the verbena family
1LL5South American grassy plain
1LO4Borrowed $, noun/verb
2LO4,5“Crazy” water bird on Canada $1 coin
1NA4Indiaan flaat breaad
1NA5Conspicuously rich person, as in VP Agnew’s “nattering …s of negativism”
1NA4Grandma, slang; or Peter Pan dog
1NA5♀ goat, or nursemaid
1NA7Hypothetical, very small, self-propelled machine
1NA5Latin adj. relating to place or time of birth
1NA6Swimming or floating adj. from Latin
1NA5Well dressed, adj.
1NO5Aristocrat, aristocratic, or righteous, NOT a Peace Prize from Oslo
1NO4Beginner, gamer slang
1NO412:00, midday, 🕛
1NO7Worthy of attention, adj.; or an important person, noun (adverb form is a pangram)
1NY5Synthetic stocking fabric
1ON5Pre-molded tooth restoration that covers chewing surface
1ON4Sole, nothing more (“I’m … human!”)
1ON4Preposition when mounting an animal or boarding a large vehicle
1TA5A bird of prey's claw
2TO5,7Character of sound, a sound (dial or ring-); noun; give greater strength or firmness to a body or a muscle; verb
1TO4Broadway award, or Maj. Nelson on "Jeannie"
1TO4Animated film or character, slang abbr. (car…)

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