Bee Roots for 2023-01-17

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: U/ADLMOR
  • Words: 32
  • Points: 127
  • 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, ...)
1AL4Graduate, noun, Latin abbr.
1AL5Sound at high volume
1AM5Love in French, noun
1AR4Plant genus with → shaped leaves, often called … lilies
1AU4Supernatural glow encircling a person
1AU5Hearing-related adj.
2AU6,7Polar lights (… Borealis)
1DO5Woman who helps a mom through labor
1DO4Gloomy appearance or manner
1DR4Rhythm instrument you play with sticks, noun/verb
1DR8Prolonged sound on a rhythm instrument you play with sticks, often preceding an announcement (compound)
1DU4Having two parts; NOT pistols at ten paces
1DU4Not shiny, adjective/verb
1DU7Slow or stupid person
1DU6Soft-nosed bullet that expands on impact, lollipop brand with a doubled name, or slang for stupid person
1DU5Hard wheat used in pasta
1LA4Praise, verb/noun
1LO4Sound at high volume
1LU4Hawaiian BBQ
1LU4Soothe (… into a false sense of security), verb; or a pause in activity, noun
1LU4Doozy, or “To Sir With Love” singer
1MA6Search for things to steal or people to attack (think pirates, gangs, or armies); from Old French "rascal"
1MA4Wound by tearing & scratching, or Star Wars Sith Lord (Darth...)
1MO7Standardized part or independent unit, in building construction, sofware, or spacecraft
1MU7Where you take off your shoes after playing outside (compound)
1MU4Think over, heat cider or wine, verb; or actor Martin
1MU5Work of art painted directly on a wall
1MU6Soft, indistinct sound (noun/verb)
1MU6Loose, brightly-colored Hawaiian dress with a double name
1RU5Scuttlebutt, gossip (… has it)
1RU5Countryside adj.; opposite of urban

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.

A few words can have one meaning as a suffixed form and another as a stand-alone word. EVENING, for example. In those cases I will use the meaning that I think is more common.

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