Bee Roots for 2023-03-17

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: C/DELNOW
  • Words: 47
  • Points: 239
  • 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, ...)
2CE4,5Give up (power or territory)
2CE4,6Prison “room,” or smallest unit of an organism
1CE5Yo-Yo Ma’s instrument (also Pablo Casals')
1CL4Lump of earth, or dunce (slang insult)
2CL5,6Identical (genetic) copy, or make one, noun/verb
2CL5,7Circus jester, or fool around, past tense is a pangram
2CO7,8Give up (power or territory)
2CO6,8Nest for butterfly larva, noun; or wrap up like one, verb
2CO6,7Pamper or indulge someone, or cook an egg in water below boiling
2CO4,5Write a computer program, or cipher a message to hide it
1CO5Sequence of 3 nucleotides in DNA
1CO4♀ student, or mixed ♂ & ♀ school, slang abbr.
1CO4Low temperature, adj.; or flu-like illness, noun (I have a…)
1CO7Irish term for a young ♀
1CO5: (punctuation mark), or intestine
1CO7Military rank between major & general (Hogan & Klink, e.g.)
1CO6Swindle, verb; someone serving a prison sentence (noun, slang)
1CO5Self-owned apartment with an HOA, slang abbr.
1CO10expression of sympathy for someone who has lost a loved one (usually plural)
2CO7,8Accept or allow misbehavior to continue (“We don’t … this behavior”)
2CO4,5Ice cream holder shape
1CO5Soft murmur made by a dove or pigeon, noun/verb
2CO4,6“Warm” antonym, or “neat!”
1CO8Post-workout rest, or let hot items get to room temp, compound
1CO5♀ farm animal that's the source of beef and milk, noun; or intimidate someone, verb
1CO4Hood for a monk or superhero
2DE6,7Write a computer program, or cipher a message to hide it
1DE4Chrysler Bldg. style (Art …)
2EN6,7Write a computer program, or cipher a message to hide it
1LO4Crazy, Spanish
1LO8Crazy (Spanish) unwanted plant, harmful to livestock, compound
1NE6Person with non-traditional right-wing political views, slang abbr.
1NO5Literary word meaning “for the [time being]”
1ON4A single time (they deliver … a week)

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