Bee Roots for 2023-01-28

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: P/AEHLUV
  • Words: 34
  • Points: 113
  • 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, ...)
1AL51st Hebrew letter, א
1AL51st Greek letter, α
1AP6Horrify (his tasteless jokes … me)
2AP6,8Ask for a court ruling to be reversed, verb/noun
1AP51 of these fruits a day keeps the doctor away
1EP4Fencing sword
1HE4Stack in a disorderly pile, verb/noun
1HE4Assist, verb; or assistance, noun (F1 key on a computer, often)
1LA5Jacket edge that’s folded back
1LE4Forceful jump (of faith?), noun/verb
1PA6Spanish rice, saffron, chicken, and seafood dish
1PA6Traditional Mexican shelter roofed with palm leaves or branches, esp. on a beach, noun
1PA4White-faced, NOT a bucket
1PA4Figurative dark cloud, or funeral "bearer"
1PA4Arthropod antenna for touch & taste, or start of medical exam by touch term
1PA4Father, slang
1PA5Pontiff adj.
1PA4Put asphalt on a road (… the way)
1PE4Repeated bell ringing or laughter
1PE4Skin of a fruit, noun; or to remove it, verb
1PE4Baby bird sound, Easter marshmallow, or a furtive look
1PE5Annoy or irritate
1PL4Urgent request (Mercy!), or court statement of guilt or innocence
1PU4Literary for “whimper” (usually ends in –ING)
1PU4Tug on, verb
1PU4Soft, wet, shapeless mass (“… Fiction” film), or floating bits of fruit in orange juice, noun/verb
3PU4,5,5Immature insect stage
2UP7,8Suddenly lift something, especially part of the Earth's surface; compound: opposite of down + lift or raise with great effort (usually with -al suffix)
1VA4Smoke an e-cig
1VE4Vice president (informal)

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