Bee Roots for 2023-01-21

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: R/ACDHIN
  • Words: 42
  • Points: 185
  • 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, ...)
1AC5Strong & unpleasant taste or smell, adj.
1AN8Absence of government
1AR8Scientific name for animals with eight jointed legs
2AR7,8Region or scene of simple pleasure or quiet, city near LA, or mountainous southern region of Greece
1AR61 of 2 classes in a tarot pack (major & minor), a mystery or deep secret, or specialized knowledge, noun
1AR4Curved span
1AR7No longer in use (words, e.g.), adj.
1AR4Opera solo
1AR4Dry (climate or land), adj.
1AR6Yellow daisy used to treat bruises
1CA5Pile of commemorative stones, or terrier (dog) breed
1CA6Unfounded rumor (that old …), or plane forewing
1CA4Thing used to play poker & bridge, noun; or ask for ID as proof of age before entry, verbified noun
1CA7Heart, medical adj. (… arrest)
1CH5Sitting furniture
1CH4Partially burn & blacken, verb
1CH5Swiss leafy green vegetable
1CI5“Around” when used before a year, Latin
1CI924–hour body rhythm, physiology adj.
1CI5Cloud forming wispy streaks (“mare's tails”) at high altitude
1CR6Scientific name for skull
1DA4Mild exclamation; or mend holes in socks, verb
1DI5Arab $, not supper
1DR5What sink water goes down
1HA4“Age of Aquarius” ‘60s nude hippie rock musical, or what grows on your scalp
1HA8Strict, bossy, belligerent old woman
1NA5Lowest point, rock-bottom, depths; or below the observer in astronomy
1NA4Drug cop, slang
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
1RA4Sudden attack, as in “air” or police;” or insect spray
1RA4Liquid precipitation
1RA5Western cattle farm, or creamy salad dressing
1RA6Adj. for food with oil or fat that smells off
1RA4Kirk’s Yeoman Janice on Star Trek, or South African $
1RA4Hindu queen, anagram of liquid precipitation
1RI4Wealthy, adj.
1RI5Poison from castor beans, NOT a pilaf grain
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.

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