Bee Roots for 2023-01-24

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: M/DEILNW
  • Words: 44
  • Points: 191
  • Pangrams: 1
Source: NOAA Fisheries

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, ...)
2DE4,6Consider (I … it a great success)
1DE5What jeans are made of
1DI6Faintly lit, adjective/verb
1DI4Coin worth 10 cents
2EM5,7Alter text to fix errors
2LI4,5Small green citrus fruit
2LI4,6(Literary verb) represent by image or words, or outline or highlight
1LI7♂ utility pole workers, or forward ♂ football players (compound)
2ME6,7Interfere without the right to do so (don’t … in my affairs!)
2ME4,6Combine (Vulcan mind …)
1ME5Confusing scuffle
2ME4,5Viral internet funny image, noun/verb
2ME4,6Repair, especially clothes or shoes
3ME4,5,6make a high-pitched crying noise, verb/noun
1MI6Between the edges (… of the road)
1MI9Person who buys goods from producers and sells them to retailers or consumers; intermediary, compound
1MI4Computer music protocol, calf-length skirt, or noon in French
1MI4A person’s look or expression, NOT an average
1MI4Not severe (a … case of the flu), or gentle (Clark Kent, the …-mannered reporter)
2MI6,8Thin whitish coating of fungus, especially on plants or leather
1MI45,280 feet, or 1.6 km
2MI4,6Wheat or pepper grinder
2MI4,5Silent performer
2MI4,6Intention (I changed my …), noun; or dislike (I don’t … a little rain) or heed (… your manners), verb
2MI4,5Where you dig for ore, or anti-ship bomb
1MI4Smaller version (as in Cooper car), slang abbr.
1MI51/60 dram, UK music ½ note, or calligraphy short vertical stroke
2WI8,10Machine that captures energy from the movement of air (Don Quixote tilted at …s)

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