Bee Roots for 2023-03-09

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: U/ADELNQ
  • Words: 54
  • Points: 261
  • Pangrams: 1
Source: Skulls Unlimited

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, ...)
2AL6,7Suggest or call attention to indirectly; or hint at; or make a subtle reference to
1AN6Yearly, adj.
2AN5,8Void a marriage
1AQ4Water; or a light greenish-blue color
2DE6,7Believe true even when you know better
2DE6,7Unclothed (in the …), adj.
1DU4Having two parts; NOT pistols at ten paces
2DU4,5Slang for “guy” (Aerosmith “… Looks Like a Lady”), noun; dress up elaborately, verb
2DU4,6Pistol fight at dawn
2DU4,6Not shiny, adjective/verb
1DU6Make persistent demands, verb; Dull grayish-brown color, noun/adjective
1DU4A mound of sand (… buggy), or Herbert desert planet book series & films
2EL5,6Dodge, or fail to be grasped
2EN5,6Provide with a quality or ability
2EQ5,7Same as (math symbol is two horizontal bars), adj./verb
2LA4,6Praise, verb/noun
1LU4Hawaiian BBQ
2LU4,6Soothe (… into a false sense of security), verb; or a pause in activity, noun
1LU4Doozy, or “To Sir With Love” singer
1LU4Roman moon goddess, or nutrition bar brand
1LU4Moon, French (Debussy’s “Clair de …”)
2LU6,7½–moon shaped fingertip base white area (Latin "little moon")
1NU4Unclothed (in the …), adj.
1NU4Having no legal or binding force; invalid
1QU8Methaqualone brand name
1QU4Group of four; or four-sided courtyard; or big muscle at the top of your thigh
2QU5,7♀ monarch, noun; or in chess, turn a pawn into a ♀ monarch, verb
2QU5,7Put an end to a rebellion or disturbance, often by force (the army was called in to help … the uprising)
2QU5,6Line or sequence of people or vehicles awaiting their turn, noun/verb, from French for tail
2UL4,5Forearm bone opposite radius
1UN6Not alive
1UN5Expected at or planned for at a certain time; what is owed
2UN7,9Same as (math symbol is two horizontal bars), adj./verb
1UN7Load cargo (root is archaic, derivatives are still in use)
1UN8Guide your group from the front; be ahead in a game; dull gray metal
1UN8Require; verb/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