Bee Roots for 2023-01-25

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: G/BHORTU
  • Words: 28
  • Points: 146
  • 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, ...)
1BO7There are 5 in NY City: Bronx, Queens, etc.
1BO5Main tree branch
1BO5Archaic for town (suffix of French cities Stras-…& Cher-…)
1BO6Purchase, verb
1BR7Lead, carry, or cause to come along with you (past tense is a pangram)
1BU4Originally, a fortress or walled town; now slang for any town or city
1BU5Scottish chartered town (in the US, Pitts…)
1BU6Southern stew AKA roadkill soup
1GO4Person who wears dark clothing, dark rock genre, or German invader of Rome
1GO4Swollen foot disease from excess uric acid; Ben Franklin had it
1GR4Watered-down (nautical) rum
1GR6Small picturesque cave (the Blue … in Capri)
1GR5Paste for filling gaps in tiles
1GR4beetle larva that eats grass roots; or slang for food
1GU4Indian spiritual teacher
1OU5Should or probable (to), verb
1OU5$ spent, to a CPA, literal opposite of “income”; or, in gerund form, extroverted, compound
1OU10Use your brain better than someone else, comparative verb, compound made from opposite of in + what your brain does
1RO6Cheap liquor (literally, what it does to your stomach), compound
1RO5Not smooth (cat’s tongue, sandpaper)
1TH8Rigorous, meticulous (… understanding, … examination)
1TH6Despite the fact that, or however; conjunction or adv. (al-…)
1TH7Idea or opinion, noun (here’s a…); or used your brain, past tense verb
1TH10In every part of (“English is spoken …the US)
1TO5Difficult (“… break, kid”) or durable adj.
1TR6Long, narrow container for feeding & watering livestock

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