Bee Roots for 2023-01-31

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: I/DENOPW
  • Words: 54
  • Points: 279
  • 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, ...)
1DE6Refuse to give, grant or admit
1DI4Cease to live
2DI4,5Eat at a restaurant
1DI4Flintstones pet, or T. Rex family abbr.
1DI51–way semiconductor with 2 terminals
1DI6Put something down quickly into liquid, verb; or brief swim, noun
1DO8Scents & smoke travel in this direction; compound
1ED6Water swirl, NOT clothier Bauer
1IN6Truly; used to emphasize & confirm previous statement (sometimes follows “yes”), compound
1IN5Unaffiliated with a major studio, slang abbr. (film or music, e.g.)
1IN5Concave belly button, slang
1IO6Element 53, stored in thyroid, added to table salt, used to treat cuts
1NI4Number of justices on Supreme Court
1NI7Bowling variation with 1 target less than standard; compound
1NI6Pinch, squeeze, or bite sharply, verb/noun
1ON5Veg that makes you cry when cut (for some, this is the "dreaded root veg")
2OP5,6Express a belief or judgement
1OP7Belief or judgment (“In my humble …)
1OP6Drug class with a current epidemic (OxyContin, e.g)
1PI4Multicolored (… Piper of Hamelin)
1PI6Thin piece of metal with a sharp point at one end, used especially for securing fabric, noun/verb
2PI4,5Evergreen tree with cones, noun; or to long for, verb
1PI8Timber from the evergreen tree with cones (Boy Scout's … Derby), compound pangram
2PI6,8Part of bird wing, or small gear engaging with large one (as in “rack & …” steering)
1PI8Scientific name for seals (“flipper-footed” in Latin)
2PI4,5Copper or plastic tube that carries water, noun; or to move liquid in one, verb; decorate a cake with icing
1PI6Fosse musical about Charlemagne’s son, or apple variety
1PO6Yankee Doodle went riding into town on this small horse breed
1WE6Hot dog, scaredy-cat, or penis; slang
1WE6Cry quietly
1WI6Hot dog, scaredy-cat, or penis; slang
3WI4,5,7Opposite of narrow
2WI5,7♀ whose spouse has died (black … spider)
2WI4,6Natural movement of air, noun, or what you do to tighten the spring on a wristwatch
2WI6,8Glass-paned wall opening you look through
1WI8What your breath passes through on its way to your lungs, compound
2WI4,5Fermented grape juice, (Merlot, e.g.), noun/verb
2WI6,8Separate chaff from grain, or narrow down to the best (… out)
1WI4Someone who overuses fermented grape juice, slang
2WI4,5Clean or dry something by rubbing it with a cloth, a piece of paper, or a hand, verb; or a pre-moistened cleaning cloth, noun
1WO8Non-brass musical instruments you blow (oboe, bassoon, flute, etc.); compound

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