Bee Roots for 2023-03-07

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: L/CFIMOR
  • Words: 28
  • Points: 84
  • Pangrams: 1
Source: 7Tarot

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, ...)
1CL5Steep rock face (white ones of Dover)
1CO4Wind up spirally, or Hamlet’s “mortal …”
1CO5Baby or horse upset tummy
2CO5,9Red, green, blue, purple, etc.
1CO4“Warm” antonym, or “neat!”
1FI4Add material until the container or hole is at capacity
1FI4Movie, or celluloid that cameras used to use, noun + adj. (2 words)
1FL5What you walk on inside (You’re getting mud on my clean …!)
1FO4Thin aluminum sheet for wrapping leftovers, noun; or thwart, verb (Curses! …ed again)
1FO5B-vitamin that treats anemia (… acid)
1FO5A book (A Shakespeare first … is quite valuable), a page in a book, or a book size; from Latin for “leaf”
1FO4Unwise person, court jester tarot card, noun; or to trick or deceive, verb
1FR5Decorative or unnecessary extra, noun + adj.
1FR6Play and move about cheerfully, excitedly, or energetically, verb/noun
1LI4Chauffeured, stretched car, slang abbr.
1LO4Crazy, Spanish
1LO4A particular point or place
1LO4Hang out or droop, as a dog’s tongue
1LO4Cloth weaving device
1MI9Long, thin, flexible strip with tiny photographs of documents, often newspapers, viewed with a special reader
1MI4Wheat or pepper grinder
1MO4To work hard (archaic); homophone of bris snipper
1MO4Mobster’s ♀
1OL4Mixture, or spicy Spanish stew, NOT margarine
1RI4Small stream
1RO4Stir up mud or trouble (…ed the waters)
1RO4What you do to dice, verb; or Tootsie candy & small bread format, noun

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