Bee Roots for 2023-03-28

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/ACLORT
  • Words: 43
  • Points: 206
  • Pangrams: 2

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, ...)
1AC7Make provision for a charge at the end of a financial period for work that has been done but not yet invoiced
1AC6Existing in fact comparative adj. (The estimate was higher than the … cost)
1AC8Cause a machine to start up, or motivate a person
1AU4Supernatural glow encircling a person
1AU5Hearing-related adj.
2AU6,7Polar lights (… Borealis)
1AU4Car, abbr., or “self” prefix
1AU8Dictator with absolute power
1CA10Add and/or subtract and/or multiply and/or divide as needed to figure out an amount or value; a gadget that helps you do this is a pangram
1CA7Short string of text connected by a line or arrow to a feature of an illustration
1CA4Fetus head covering membrane, or ♀ hat
1CL5Hit hard, verb; or influence or power, especially in politics or business, noun
1CO10Elaborate ornamentation of a vocal melody, especially in operatic singing by a soprano, pangram
1CO5Where trials are held
1CU4Remove unwanted from the herd
1CU4Religious sect centered around a single person
1CU8Customs, arts, and social institutions of a particular nation or people, noun; or grow something in a lab, verb
1CU7Dutçh Çaribbean island, or blue liqueur with bitter orange peel
1CU7Keeper or custodian of a collection
1CU4Cause to form into a curved or spiral shape, especially hair, verb/noun; or a weight lifting exercise to develop the biceps
1CU4Rudely brief, adj.
1CU6Cardboard person (how you make one), or spy intermediary, compound
1LO4Uncouth & aggressive ♂, noun
1LU4Hawaiian BBQ
1LU4Soothe (… into a false sense of security), verb; or a pause in activity, noun
1LU4Doozy, or “To Sir With Love” singer
1OC6Supernatural, mystical, or magical beliefs, practices, or phenomena
1OC5Happen, exist, or come to mind (it never …-ed to me)
1OC6Medical adj., of or connected with the eyes or vision
1OR8Priest or priestess acting as a medium through whom advice or prophecy was sought from the gods in classical antiquity (the … at Delphi)
1OU5Closing show music (antonym begins with IN–)
1RO7Unveiling of a new aircraft or spacecraft, noun; or launch of a new product or service, noun; or, in American football, when the quarterback runs toward the sideline before throwing a pass, verb/noun
1RO4Disorderly retreat, or decisive defeat
1RU5Countryside adj.; opposite of urban
1TA7Perceptible by touch, adj.
1TA4Not slack, as a rope, adj.
1TO4Take a guided one of these in a foreign city (on a … bus?) adj/noun/verb
1TO4Promote, or offer horse racing tips
1TR5Common game fish (rainbow …, e.g.)
1TU5Private instructor
1TU4Ballet skirt, or S Afr Bishop Desmond
1UL5“Extreme” or “beyond” prefix, as in –violet, or “Ne plus…”

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