Bee Roots for 2023-02-23

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: P/AEMNTY
  • Words: 46
  • Points: 195
  • 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, ...)
2AP6,6Tarzan the …
1AP5Sleep breathing disorder
1AT7Make an effort to achieve or complete something, verb/noun
1EM5Containing nothing, adj.; or remove all contents, verb
1EP4Fencing sword
1NA8Cloth strip sewn into clothing to identify the owner (compound made from what you're called and narrow strip of material)
1NA4Scruff of the neck
1NE4Tide with least difference between low & high water
1PA5Song of praise or triumph
1PA5S Am treeless grassland
1PA6Cent. Am. country with a canal & hat
1PA4Single sheet of window glass
1PA4What a dog does when it’s hot, verb; or singular of trousers, noun
1PA5♀ undergarment, slang (…hose)
1PA4Father, slang
1PA6Tropical fruit with black seeds
1PA5Slang term for father or grandfather
1PA4Chopped liver (… de foie gras) or other spréâd (French), or archaic for a person’s head
2PA6,8Legal document that protects an invention
1PA5Peppermint candy (& friend of Marcie in “Peanuts”) or burger form
1PA5Give $ in exchange for goods or services, verb/noun
1PA7$ for goods & services (your…is due today), pangram noun
2PE4,5Fuel from bog soil, NOT Secretary Buttigieg
1PE4Backside of a hammer
1PE4Baby bird sound, Easter marshmallow, or a furtive look
2PE6,6Archaic for writer; compound made from “ink stick” & ♂
1PE7Baseball banner
1PE5Tube pasta, vodka optional
1PE51¢ coin
1PE4Archaic for “repressed,” now used as …-up frustration, adj.
1PE7Five-carbon chain
1PE5Energy, liveliness, noun/verb
1PE5Trivial (… crime) (think late “Heartbreakers” singer Tom)
1TA4Pack down (start of Florida city on a bay)
1TA4Spanish bar snack (usually plural)
1TA4Adhesive strip
2TE5,6Native Am conical hut; 2 spellings
1TE4Office worker fill-in, slang abbr.
1TE5Entice (as a donut to a dieter, e.g.), verb
1TY4What you do on a keyboard
1YA5Sharp, shrill bark; slang term for a person's mouth; Pacific island with giant coins

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