Bee Roots for 2023-03-14

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: A/GLMORU
  • Words: 57
  • Points: 214
  • 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, ...)
1AG4Seaweed gel used as food thickener & bacteria culture medium
1AG4Very excited to hear or see something, adj.
1AG5Ancient Greek market
1AL5Warning (bell)
2AL4,5Pond scum
1AL4Graduate, noun, Latin abbr.
1AM7Mixture or blend (Ag/Hg dental fillings, e.g.)
1AM4A supply of bullets, slang abbreviation
1AM5Love in French, noun
1AM6Principled, ethical, adjective; or the lesson of a story, noun
1AR5Protective covering against weapons (suit of …)
1AR5Pleasant smell (baking bread, e.g.)
1AR7Rocket lettuce
1AR4Plant genus with → shaped leaves, often called … lilies
1AU4Supernatural glow encircling a person
1AU5Hearing-related adj.
2AU6,7Polar lights (… Borealis)
1GA4Super enthusiastic; Biden inauguration National Anthem singer
1GA4Formal ball or fundraiser (The Met …, e.g.)
1GA4Liver secretion, or bold behavior
1GA5Γ, γ (3rd Greek letter), & shortest-length EM radiation (… rays)
3GL4,6,7Movie star beauty & style; or women’s magazine, British spelling is a pangram
1GO4Objective, or sport target or point
1GR4Metric mass unit, equal to the mass of one cc of water
1GR7System of structure rules for a language
1GR6Your parent's Mom (informal)
1GU4Cluster bean
1GU5Soviet labor camp
1LA4Tibetan Buddhist monk (Dalai …)
1LA5Florida Key (Bacall/Bogart film noir), or slow & dignified music tempo
1LL5S Am camel
1LO4Fertile, sandy soil
1LO8Linguistics term for a sign or char. representing word or phrase (shorthand & Chinese, e.g.)
1LU4Hawaiian BBQ
1MA5Hot fluid below Earth’s crust; lava before it’s erupted
1MA4Shopping center with many stores under one roof
2MA4,5♀ parent, slang
1MA6Vertebrate class that has hair, milk, & live birth
1MA9Breast X–ray, ends with metric oz. equiv.
1MA4Old-timey schoolteacher honorific
1MA4Wound by tearing & scratching, or Star Wars Sith Lord (Darth...)
1MO5♀ parent, slang
1MO5Grinding back tooth
1MO5$, slang (from Fiji)
1MO5Principled, ethical, adjective; or the lesson of a story, noun
1MU5Work of art painted directly on a wall
1OR4Spoken (… exam), or by mouth (… surgery), adjective
1RA4Indian ♫ pattern used as basis for improv, starts with old cloth
1RO4Wander, or use your phone on another network
1RO4Lion “shout”
1RU5Countryside adj.; opposite of urban

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