Bee Roots for 2023-02-05

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: H/ABLMOT
  • Words: 31
  • Points: 110
  • 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, ...)
1AL5Hawaiian greeting
1BA4Thai $
1BA4Shower alternative
1BA7Something not slippery to stand on when you get out of a tub or shower, compound
1BL4Dull, informal adj. or exclamation
1BO4Hippie chic fashion; anagram of "vagrant"
1BO6Weeping sound, slang
1BO5Privacy enclosure (voting, phone …), or Lincoln assassin
1BO4Each of 2 things (I’ll take this AND that), adv.
1HA6Intense windy desert dust or sand storm, esp. in Sahara & Sudan; from Arabic; laugh 2–letter sound + breast, slang
1HA5Kosher in Islam
1HA4Corridor, or Let’s Make a Deal’s Monty
1HA4Nimbus (ring of light or glowing cloud) atop a saint, or Xbox shooter game
1HA4Come to a complete & sudden stop, verb
1HA4Archaic 3rd person singular present form of "possess" (Hell … no fury)
1HA5Yoga type that pairs poses with breathing
1HO4Tramp, vagrant; anagram of hippie chic fashion
1HO4Otter den
1HO4Owl sound
1LA4Flat strip of wood, often plastered as wallboard
1LO5Reluctant (to), adj.; often confused with verb ending in E meaning “hate”
1MA7Indian honorific (… Gahdhi), or rice brand
1MA7Huge, adj.; or large extinct elephant (wooly …)
1MA4Addition/subtraction/multiplication/division subject abbr.
1MO6$, slang (from Fiji)
1MO4Drab butterfly
1MO8Smelly pellet to prevent clothing damage from drab butterflies, compound pangram
1OA4Vow or pledge (you’re under one in court testimony)
1TH4Pronoun for the other thing (this & …)
1TO9Place where they collect fees for using a road, compound
1TO5What you chew with

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