Bee Roots for 2023-02-20

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: N/AGHMOY
  • Words: 38
  • Points: 156
  • Pangrams: 1
Source: By Nafis Ameen - Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, Wikipedia

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, ...)
1AG5Extreme pain
1AM5Surrounded by, or in the company of (you're … friends here)
1AN5Irritate, vex, irk
1AN4Soon, poetically
1AN6Informal, humorous subject-changer after an interruption or diversion; compound
1GA4Group of thugs ("Working on the Chain …"), noun/verb
1GO4Orchestra chime or dinner bell
1GO5Intend to do, slang contraction
1GO5Black-footed albatross
1HA4What you do to a painting you want to mount on a wall, or to a criminal sentenced to the gallows
1HA7Word-guessing puzzle with a noose; compound; ends in ♂
1HO5Stalag 13 colonel, former Maryland governor, or Navajo log & earth hut
2HO7,8Word that sounds the same but has different meaning than others (to/too/two)
1HY4Song of praise to a deity
1MA8Hard reddish-brown timber from a tropical tree, used for high-quality furniture, pangram
1MA6Wealth that’s an evil influence, per the New Testament & Milton
1MA5Japanese graphic novels
1MA5Skin disease caused by mites, especially in dogs
1MA5Fleshy, oval, yellowish-red tropical fruit that is eaten ripe or used green for pickles and chutneys
1MA5Exodus food from the sky
1MA4More than a few (… people are saying)
1MO4Sound of pain or sexual pleasure (Harry Potter’s ghost “…-ing Myrtle”)
1MO41–channel sound abbreviation, or glandular fever “kissing disease” abbreviation
1MO8Being married to one person at a time
1MO7Singular tag for famous people (Cher, Moses, Socrates, Beyoncé)
2MO4,5NASA Apollo missions landed on or circled it
2MY4,5Talking starling that’s often a pet
1NA4Indiaan flaat breaad
1NA5Annoy or irritate with persistent fault-finding or continuous urging
1NA4Grandma, slang; or Peter Pan dog
1NA5♀ goat, or nursemaid
1NO79–sided shape
1NO412:00, midday, 🕛
1YA4Representing heaven, positivity, masculinity, and activity (Chinese philosopy)

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