Bee Roots for 2023-01-27

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: N/AIJORT
  • Words: 62
  • Points: 321
  • 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, ...)
1AN6Ceremonially smear someone with oil, or designate as a successor
1AN4Soon, poetically
1AN4Opposed to (prefix), NOT uncle’s wife nickname
1AN5Atom or molecule with a net electric charge
2AN9,10Write something, for example music, in a specialized system
1AR6Complete & utter (nonsense), archaic adj.
1AT6Succeed in getting, or reach; verb (… nirvana)
1AT9The process of gradually reducing the size or strength of something through sustained attack or pressure (staff reduction will be accomplished through …)
2IN9,10Cause to begin, or admit into a secret society; verb; or novice, noun
1IN4Enter (go … the room), preposition
1IN5Announce upcoming thing (next guest), or prelude (beginner’s course, book preface), slang abbr.
1IN10Character of sound, a sound (dial or ring-); noun; give greater strength or firmness to a body or a muscle; verb
1IR4Element Fe (atomic number 26), or hot clothes presser, noun/verb
2IR8,10Make someone annoyed, impatient, or angry; or cause inflammation
2JI4,5Arabian air or flame spirit, portrayed as living in lamps & granting 3 wishes
1JO4Link, connect (… in holy matrimony)
1JO5Place where 2 bones connect & allow motion (knee, knuckle, e.g.)
1NA4Indiaan flaat breaad
1NA4Grandma, slang; or Peter Pan dog
2NA8,9Provide a spoken commentary
1NA6Swimming or floating adj. from Latin
1NA6Country, or temperance activist Carrie
1NI5Stealthy Japanese warrior in black
1NI5Slang abbr. for chem. used as explosive & heart med.
1NO4“Black” in French; or dark mystery genre (film …)
1NO6French opposite of “oui,” + “painting & sculpture”; compound
1NO412:00, midday, 🕛
1NO4Edible seaweed, eaten either fresh or dried in sheets
2NO7,8Write something, for example music, in a specialized system
1NO6Vague idea, or small sewing accessory
1ON5Veg that makes you cry when cut (for some, this is the "dreaded root veg")
1ON4Preposition when mounting an animal or boarding a large vehicle
1OR7Make a speech
1RA4Liquid precipitation
1RA4Hindu queen, anagram of liquid precipitation
1RA4Speak or shout wildly & at length
1RA6Allow each person to have only a fixed amount of something because of a shortage, verb/noun
1RA6Palm fiber for furniture
1RO4Horse with 2–colored coat
1RO8Move in a circle around an axis or center
1RO6Spiral pasta, fusilli
1TA5Smear of corruption or pollution, noun/verb
1TA6Brown chemical in tea & wine used to preserve leather, noun
1TA7Onomatopoetic name for war trumpet
1TA6Buddhist mystical text, related to yoga word (“Om”)
1TA9Exclamation used to express exasperation, frustration, or incredulity (What in … is going on?)
1TA6Plaid patterned Scottish cloth
1TI4Shade of color, noun; or darken car windows, verb
1TI5Pre-Olympic god, largest Saturn moon, or industry bigwig
1TI9Ascertain the amount of a constituent in a solution, using a reagent (chemistry)
1TO4Animated film or character, slang abbr. (car…)
1TO4Ripped, adj. or past participle
1TO7Italian ice cream with rum, almonds, & cherries
1TR5Choo-choo, or prep for athletic event
1TR6Son of Poseidon, largest Neptune moon; mollusk with a tall spiral shell

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