Bee Roots for 2023-03-20

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: N/EGHIWZ
  • Words: 41
  • 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, ...)
1EG6What baby birds hatch from
1EN6Car motor
1GE4DNA sequence that determines traits, or singing cowboy Autry
1GE5Lives in a lamp, grants wishes
1GE5Someone who is exceptionally intelligent or creative
1GI7Live performance by or engagement for a musician or group, especially playing pop or jazz; noun/verb
1GI7Clear alcoholic spirit flavored with juniper berries; or card game
1HE6A person’s buttocks, slang
1HE5Prehistoric circular monument (Stone…)
2HE4,6Chop or cut (something, especially wood or coal) with a tool such as an axe
1HI6Go quickly (archaic)
2HI5,7Door fastener to frame that lets it swing open & closed, noun/verb
1IN5Concave belly button, slang
1IN6A baseball game is divided into 9 of these
2NE5,8Horse sound
1NE4Hawaiian goose & state bird
1NI4Near, archaic (“Repent, the end is …!”)
1NI4Number of justices on Supreme Court
1WE6Hot dog, scaredy-cat, or penis; slang
1WE8Put something on a scale to determine heaviness
1WH8Breathe with a whistling or rattling sound, verb/noun
1WH4At what time?
2WH5,7Long, high-pitched complaining cry (“You want some cheese with that…?”)
1WH8Move quickly through the air with a whistling or whooshing sound; urinate (slang)
1WI6Hot dog, scaredy-cat, or penis; slang
1WI7Head covering made of hair
1WI7Be victorious in a game or battle
2WI4,6Fermented grape juice, (Merlot, e.g.), noun/verb
2WI4,7What birds, bats, & planes use to fly
2WI5,8Become dry, shrunken, and wrinkled
1ZI7Sharp change of direction; noun/verb
1ZI4Periodical, abbr. (last syllable), esp. fan pub
2ZI4,7Enthusiasm, move rapidly with a high-pitched noise, criticize, or center word in Sheldon Cooper’s “gotcha!” catchphrase

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