Bee Roots for 2023-02-12

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/ACHNTY
  • Words: 52
  • Points: 232
  • 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, ...)
1AC6African or Australian wattle tree
1AC4Trendy smoothie berry
1AN4Opposed to (prefix), NOT uncle’s wife nickname
1AN5Childish or playful tomfoolery, usually plural
1AT6Succeed in getting, or reach; verb (… nirvana)
1AT5Unfinished room below roof; garret
1CA5Succulent plant with a thick stem that usually has spines, lacks leaves, and occasionally has brilliantly colored flowers
1CA7Spanish bar, or the Mos Eisley bar on Tatooine in “Star Wars”
1CH4Spiced Indian tea (… latte)
1CH5String of metal links
1CH4Faddish “pet” mint plant
1CH7Dry red wine, originally produced in Tuscany
1CH5Girl, Spanish
1CH6Pretentious style (or almost 2x fashionable)
1CH4Bottom of face, noun; or raise it above a bar in a pull-up, verb
1CH5Large Asian country, or ceramics from there
1CH4IOU note, Navy memo
1CH8Idle small talk; slang compound noun or verb that starts with a list word
1CH6Fibrous substance forming the exoskeleton of arthropods
1CI5Easy task (it’s a …), noun; or tighten up (belt or saddle, e.g.), verb
1CI4Large town (NY, LA, Chicago, etc.)
1CY5Doubter, pessimist
1HI5♂ horse/♀ donkey hybrid
1HI4Clue, suggestion, noun/verb
1HI5“Psycho” director Alfred nickname, or slang for thumb a ride, verb; or device on a vehicle that allows it to attach a trailer, noun
1HI4Slang abbr. for “hello to you”
1HY8Main character in “Keeping Up Appearances” BBC sitcom, or flowering plant; pangram
1IN7Stupid, silly, ridiculous (… questions or comments); adj.
1IN6Recite a spell or a prayer; chant or intone, verb, usually occurs in its -ation noun form
1IN41/12 of a foot, noun; or move slowly, verb
1IN6Not damaged or impaired in any way; complete (I left with my dignity …), adj.
2IT4,5What you scratch (an …)
1IT4Really small, slang; usually paired with rhyming B word
1NI6Vitamin B3
1NI5Number of justices on Supreme Court
1NI5Foolish or silly person
1TA5Understood without being stated (… agreement), adj.
2TA6,9Action planned to achieve a specific end (negotiating …)
1TA6Middle Eastern sesame seed paste or sauce
1TA5Smear of corruption or pollution, noun/verb
2TA6,6Brown chemical in tea & wine used to preserve leather, noun
1TH4Skinny, adj. (… Mints)
1TI5Silvery-white metal, atomic number 50 (Cat on a Hot … Roof)
1TI5Archaic for shade of color, seen now only in “–URE of iodine”
1TI4Shade of color, noun; or darken car windows, verb
1TI4Very small, adj., “Christmas Carol” kid
2TI5,7Pre-Olympic god, largest Saturn moon, or industry bigwig

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