Bee Roots for 2023-04-08

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: E/JMNOTY
  • Words: 45
  • Points: 185
  • 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, ...)
1EM5Express feelings (especially when acting)
1EN5Wartime foe
2EN5,9Take pleasure in something
1EN7Friendly understanding between countries (French)
1JE5Female donkey
1JE4Ballet jump (French)
1JE5Small pier or breakwater
1JO4Juvenile kangaroo
1ME4Encounter (I’m supposed to … him in the park)
1ME4Viral internet funny image, noun/verb
1ME7Souvenir in English; or 2000 thriller about an amnesiac (Guy Pearce)
1ME4Office note abbr.
1ME6Experienced and trusted adviser, usually an older person
1ME4Dispense justice (“… out punishment”), homophone of “animal flesh for consumption”
2ME7,8Figure of speech in which the name of an object or concept is replaced with closely related word (Washington has problems passing legislation)
1MO6Very brief period of time (“I’ll be with you in just a …”)
1MO5$, cash
1MO8♂ financier, compound made from cash + ♂
1MO8Sound that is unchanging in pitch (“She spoke in a … that put me to sleep”)
1MO53–card … con game
1MO4Speck of dust
1MO5Short piece of sacred choral music, typically polyphonic & unaccompanied
1NE4Hawaiian goose & state bird
1NE4Atomic number 10, gas in lighted signs
1NE5UK outhouse, slang; or butterfly & fish mesh catcher adj.
1NO4Quantity of zero; “all” antonym
1NO5Group of 9 (musicians)
1NO4What you pass to someone in class, or ♪ in music
1OM4Portent, or Damien’s horror films (“The …”)
1TE4Be full or swarming with; homophone of Yankees group
1TE4Adolescent (…ager), or numbers 13–19
1TE5Minuscule, or trendy youth (…-bopper)
1TE8Set of rooms within a house, or cheap multi-family bldg.
1TE5A principle or belief; or a Christopher Nolan time-travel film
1TE5Projecting piece of wood attached to a mortise
1TE4Shelter you sleep in while camping
1TO4Large, heavy book
1TO4Character of sound, a sound (dial or ring-); noun; give greater strength or firmness to a body or a muscle; verb
1TO51,000 kilograms, UK spelling
1TO4Reusable bag, noun; or schlep, verb
1TO5Symbolic object (… pole)
1YE5Matchmaker or gossip, Yiddish
1YE6♂ royal servant or guard (the plural form is in Gilbert & Sullivan’s “The … of the Guard")

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