Bee Roots for 2023-02-02

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: R/ADGNOU
  • Words: 51
  • Points: 201
  • Pangrams: 1
Source: University of Florida

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, ...)
1AD5Decorate (… with) (Xmas tree, e.g.)
1AG4Seaweed gel used as food thickener & bacteria culture medium
1AG5Ancient Greek market
1AG7Stuck on the ground under shallow water (a huge container ship ran … in the Suez Canal), pangram
1AN6Long-haired rabbit or goat, or fabric from its hair (… sweater)
1AR5Passion (Latin “to burn”)
1AR5Atomic no. 18, abundant gas in Earth atmosphere
1AR6Nearby (it's … here somewhere, just … the corner) adj.; or encircling, preposition
1AU4Supernatural glow encircling a person
1AU6Polar lights (… Borealis)
1DA4Mild exclamation; or mend holes in socks, verb
1DO5Someone who gives (blood, organs, $)
1DO4Room or bldg. entrance
1DO6Mahimahi; or South American freshwater fish with a golden body and red fins
1DO4Gloomy appearance or manner
1DR4Pull roughly, or pass time slowly & tediously, verb + adj.
1DR6Flying fire-breather (Smaug)
1DR7Cavalry officer, noun; or coerce, verb
1DR4Something you take when you're sick (or addicted)
1DU5Close-fitting cloth worn to protect a hairstyle
1GO63 Greek sisters with snakes for hair & petrifying gazes
1GO5Fleshy fruit with hard skin (some are eaten, some are used for decoration, usually in the Fall)
1GR4Alumnus, abbr.
1GR4Parent’s mom, slang abbr.
1GR5Magnificent or imposing in appearance, size, or style, adj.; a thousand $, slang
2GR7,8Your parent's father (familiar)
1GR5Make an unhappy sound, or respond to a lame joke
1GR4Watered-down (nautical) rum
1GR6The solid surface of the earth, noun; prohibit from flying, verb
1GU4Cluster bean
1GU5Someone who keeps watch, often armed, noun/verb
1GU4Indian spiritual teacher
1OD4Bad smell (body …)
1OR5Red-haired ape, slang abbr.
1OR5Keyboard instrument with pipes (church…)
1RA5Nickname of Cpl. O’Reilly in M.A.S.H., or Doppler weather sensor acronym
1RA5Harmful gas that seeps into homes; atomic no. 86
1RA4Indian ♫ pattern used as basis for improv, starts with old cloth
1RA4Kirk’s Yeoman Janice on Star Trek, or South African $
1RA4Make a bell sound, verb/noun; encircle, verb/noun
1RO4Street ("Abbey …"), or “rocky …” ice cream flavor
1RO4Horse with 2–colored coat
1RO4Lion “shout”
1RO5Musical form with recurring theme, often final movement of a piece, from Italian
1RO4Large crucifix above altar, anagram of bldg. entrance
1RO5Circular, adj.
1RU4Make a bell sound, verb/noun; encircle, verb/noun
1RU9Evasive treatment (“they gave me the …”), compound (lit., jog in a circle)
1UN8The solid surface of the earth, noun; prohibit from flying, verb

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