Bee Roots for 2023-04-01

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: T/ACILMN
  • Words: 58
  • Points: 307
  • 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, ...)
1AL4Illumination (Let there be …); noun/verb
1AN4Opposed to (prefix), NOT uncle’s wife nickname
1AN5Childish or playful tomfoolery, usually plural
1AN13The most intense, exciting, or important point of a story; or orgasm, noun/verb
1AT6Succeed in getting, or reach; verb (… nirvana)
1AT5Unfinished room below roof; garret
1AT5Move into a sloping position, or fight windmills (… at)
1CA5Succulent plant with a thick stem that usually has spines, lacks leaves, and occasionally has brilliantly colored flowers
1CA4Tilt, or “I am unable to do so” contraction; hypocritical and sanctimonious talk
1CA7Medium-length narrative music for voice & instruments, from Italian for “sung”
1CA7Mexican or Spanish bar, or the Mos Eisley bar on Tatooine in “Star Wars”
1CA7Feline ♂ whistle or jeer at passing ♀ (compound)
1CA7Alt name for plant that drives felines wild, compound made from feline + breath candy
1CA7Domestic feline hind appendage, or reed (compound)
1CL8Assert, an assertion, or a request (… asylum, baggage …)
1CL8Prevailing weather conditions in an area
1CL9The most intense, exciting, or important point of a story; or orgasm, noun/verb
1IL7Not forbidden by law or custom
1IN6Recite a spell or a prayer; chant or intone, verb, usually occurs in its -ation noun form
1IN7First (letter, as in J.R.R. Tolkien)
1IN6Not damaged or impaired in any way; complete (I left with my dignity …), adj.
1IT6𝑆𝑙𝑎𝑛𝑡𝑒𝑑 𝑡𝑒𝑥𝑡 𝑓𝑟𝑜𝑚 𝑅𝑜𝑚𝑒’𝑠 𝑐𝑜𝑢𝑛𝑡𝑟𝑦
1LA6Milk adj. (think acid in yogurt or sore muscles)
1LA7Tropical perennial flowering plant in the verbena family
1LI5Not forbidden by law or custom
1LI4Singsong accent
1LI5Size, speed, or amount restriction
1LI4Dryer fluff
1MA8Keep up (appearances), or support; verb
1MA4Convert grain for brewing (…–ed milk), noun/verb
1MA5Ray (fish)
1MI8Combative & aggressive in support of a political or social cause, adj.
1MI7(Related to above) armed vigilante group; 2nd Amendment's “Well-regulated …”
1MI10♂ armed vigilante group member, compound
1MI4Breath candy or its flavor or plant source, noun; or create coins, verb
1MI4Catcher’s glove, or Sen. Romney
1NA5Latin adj. relating to place or time of birth
1NA6Swimming or floating adj. from Latin
1TA5Understood without being stated (… agreement), adj.
1TA4Diplomacy, sensitivity
3TA6,8,9Action planned to achieve a specific end (negotiating …)
1TA4Dogs wag this hind appendage
1TA5Smear of corruption or pollution, noun/verb
1TA4Mineral in baby powder
1TA4Of greater than average height, adj.
1TA6Fringed prayer shawl
1TA4Ankle bone
2TA6,6Brown chemical in tea & wine used to preserve leather, noun
1TA6Japanese & dojo floor mats (畳)
1TI4Cash register or drawer, noun; “up to,” preposition; or prep soil for planting, verb
1TI4Move into a sloping position, or fight windmills (… at)
1TI5Archaic for shade of color, seen now only in “–URE of iodine”
1TI4Shade of color, noun; or darken car windows, verb
2TI5,7Pre-Olympic god, largest Saturn moon, or industry bigwig

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