Bee Roots for 2023-03-16

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: I/ADEMTY
  • Words: 60
  • Points: 269
  • 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, ...)
2AD5,8Fess up, or let in
1AI4Assistant to an important person, esp. military or political (…-de-camp), noun
1AI5Point at a target
1AM4Surrounded by, preposition
1AM5Friendly relationship (esp. between nations)
1DA6Slang exclamation of frustration (“… Janet” song in “Rocky Horror”); should have an N instead of a doubled central consonant; compound; condemn something to hell
1DA7Hours when the sun is up, compound pangram noun; ends in list word
1DE5A god, or God; noun
2DE5,8Obscure word meaning resign from an office or position
1DI6Jeweled crown or headband worn as a symbol of sovereignty
1DI4Cease to live
2DI4,6Limit your food intake, verb/noun
1DI6Faintly lit, adjective/verb
1DI4Coin worth 10 cents
1DI6A hard-wearing, sheer cotton fabric woven with raised stripes or checks, obscure noun
1DI5Short, simple song
1ED6Water swirl, NOT clothier Bauer
2ED4,6Revise text
2EM4,7Give off (radiation, signals)
3ID4,6,7Thought or suggestion (here’s a new …), noun
1IM4Prayer leader at mosque
2IM7,8Copy someone’s speech or mannerisms
1IM9Occurring right this instant (… gratification); or nearest in relation (only … family allowed), adj.
1IT4One thing as part of a set, 10 or fewer of these at an express register
1IT4Really small, slang; usually paired with rhyming B word
1MA48 of them were milking in a Xmas carol
2MA4,6Permanently injure
1ME5Mass communication
2ME7,8Intervene between people in a dispute; arbitrate
2ME8,9Think deeply (while doing yoga & chanting “Om”?)
1MI4Computer music protocol, calf-length skirt, or noon in French
2MI4,5Silent performer
1MI4Tiny tick, or very small amount (I'm a … testy today)
1MI4Catcher’s glove, or Sen. Romney
1TA6Japanese & dojo floor mats (畳)
1TE7Britspeak for the early afternoon hour when you serve a steeped beverage, compound (NOT a golf reservation)
2TI4,5Ocean ebb & flow at the beach, or laundry soap brand
2TI4,6Neatly arranged, adj.; or neaten up, verb
1TI4Fasten with string or cord, verb/noun
2TI4,5What clocks measure & display
2TI5,8Lacking courage or confidence, adj. (… as a mouse)
1YE4Abominable snowman

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