Bee Roots for 2023-01-18

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: I/AEGLTY
  • Words: 46
  • Points: 226
  • Pangrams: 2
Source: La Cucina Italiana

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, ...)
3AG5,7,7Able to move quickly and easily
1AG5Italian slang for heartburn from stress
1AG7Make someone nervous, campaign for a cause, or stir briskly (clothes in a washing machine, e.g.), verb
1AL4Illumination (Let there be …); noun/verb
1AT5Move into a sloping position, or fight windmills (… at)
1EL5Select group that’s superior
1GA4A person's way of walking, or an animal’s pace (esp. horse); NOT a hinged fence opening
2GA5,6Homosexual (used especially of a man); lighthearted and carefree (dated)
1GE6Italian ice cream; limone is my fav
2GI6,6Silly laugh; verb/noun
1GI4Coat with element Au, atomic no. 79
1GI4Fish breathing organ
1GL4Nervous system connective tissue “cell,” (anagram of venomous lizard “monster”)
1IL4not healthy, sick, adverb/noun; hardly, or only with difficulty, adverb (they could … afford the cost of a new car)
3IL7,9,10Law adj. (not forbidden by law)
1IT4Really small, slang; usually paired with rhyming B word
1LE8Law adj. (not forbidden by law)
1LE5Conforming to the law or to rules, adj., also a slang abbreviation (they were married at the time of the birth, so their baby was …)
1LI5Feudal superior (“Yes, my …”)
1LI6Medical term for tie off (-TION form is more common: tubal …ion)
1LI4Singsong accent
1LI4Monet floral subject (water …)
1LI4Low-calorie or low-fat in ad-speak (Miller … beer)
1LI8What a lawyer does with a lawsuit
1LI6Small (Stuart or Chicken …), adj.
1TA11Pasta in narrow ribbons
1TA5Boreal or snow coniferous forest biome of high northern latitudes
1TA4Dogs wag this hind appendage
1TA8Door at the back of a pickup truck, noun; or follow too closely when driving, slang verb; or party in the parking lot before a sporting event, noun (compound)
1TA6Fringed prayer shawl
1TA4Ankle bone
1TI4Thin ceramic wall, counter, flooring, or roofing square
2TI4,7Cash register or drawer, noun; “up to,” preposition; or prep soil for planting, verb
1TI4Move into a sloping position, or fight windmills (… at)
1TI9Stimulate or excite, especially in a sexual way
1TI5Name of a book, movie, or job, noun/verb
1TI6Dot above an i or j, or really small amount
1YE4Abominable snowman

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