Bee Roots for 2023-01-14

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: D/ACGINR
  • Words: 61
  • Points: 330
  • Pangrams: 2

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, ...)
2AC4,6Below 7 on the pH scale (amino …, sulfuric …, hydrochloric …)
1AC5Strong & unpleasant taste or smell, adj.
1AD6Join something to something else
2AR7,8Region or scene of simple pleasure or quiet, city near LA, or mountainous southern region of Greece
1AR4Dry (climate or land), adj.
1CA7Get something without paying for it (slang)
1CA6Unfounded rumor (that old…), or plane forewing
1CA6Unposed photo, or frank; adj. (Smile! You’re on “… Camera”)
1CA5Member of the dog family, noun
2CA4,7Thing used to play poker & bridge, noun; or ask for ID as proof of age before entry, verbified noun
1CA7Heart, medical adj. (… arrest)
1CA8Button-down sweater, pangram
1CI6Noisy 17–year insect
1CI924–hour body rhythm, physiology adj.
1DA7Move rhythmically to music, verb/noun
1DA4Mild cuss (just get the … thing working!); euphemism for “condemn to Hell” expletive
1DA6Have the courage to do something risky; or challenge someone to do something risky, verb/noun
2DA4,7Mild exclamation; or mend holes in socks, verb
1DI6Spotted cubes you roll, noun; or chop into cubes, verb
1DI7Make a hole in the ground; enjoy (slang)
1DI5Arab $, not supper
1DI6Eat at a restaurant
2DI4,7Dent (a … on the car door), or 1st ½ of doorbell sound
2DR4,8Pull roughly, or pass time slowly & tediously, verb + adj.
2DR5,8What sink water goes down
1GA7go around from one place to another, in the pursuit of pleasure or entertainment
2GI4,7Encircle with a belt
1GR4Alumnus, abbr.
1GR7Level of rank, quality, proficiency, intensity, or value; or a mark summarizing a student's performance, noun/verb
1GR5Magnificent or imposing in appearance, size, or style, adj.; a thousand $, slang
2GR7,8Your parent's father (familiar)
1GR4Network of lines that cross each other to form a series of squares or rectangles (@the…kid)
2GR5,8Crush something into fine particles or powder, verb; or long, hard work, noun (the daily …)
1IN6Subspecies of cannabis plant
1IN7Bulk-mail postage stamp substitute, or other distinguishing mark
1NA4Nothing, Spanish
1NA5Lowest point, rock-bottom, depths; or below the observer in astronomy
1NA5Greek water nymph, or dragonfly larva
1RA5Nickname of Cpl. O’Reilly in M.A.S.H., or Doppler weather sensor acronym
1RA6Unit of angular measure of a ○
1RA5Distance from a point on a circle to the center
2RA4,7Sudden attack, as in “air” or police;” or insect spray
1RA6Adj. for food with oil or fat that smells off
1RA4Kirk’s Yeoman Janice on Star Trek, or South African $
1RI7Make free of something unwanted or troublesome (get … of that spoiled food)
1RI6Sit on and control the movement of an animal, especially a horse; or travel in a car driven by someone else, verb
1RI7Long narrow hilltop, noun; or form into narrow raised bands, verb
1RI5Not flexible
1RI4Tough outer skin of certain fruit, especially citrus

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