Bee Roots for 2023-04-15

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: L/DIORWY
  • Words: 48
  • Points: 198
  • 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, ...)
1DI6Worthless amount (… squat), or guitarist Bo
1DI5Phallus-shaped sex toy
1DI4Pickle spice
1DI5Excellent example (that was a … of a game)
1DO5Ornamental lace mat
1DO4Small human figure toy such as Barbie, noun; or get all dressed up for a party, verb
1DO5Move on a mobile platform, for example a movie camera
1DO5Literary term for a a state of great sorrow or distress (Spanish for pain), noun
1DO7Frumpy, adj.
1DR5Power tool with bits for making holes, or practice for an emergency (fire …); noun
2DR5,6Curious or unusual in a way that provokes amusement, adj.
2DR5,6Spit leaking out of your mouth, noun/verb
1DR5Not wet
1ID4Not doing anything; or, said of an engine, running but in gear
1ID4Punk rocker Billy; “American …” TV singing contest; or public figure you worship (…-ize)
2ID4,5Extremely happy scene or poem
1IL4not healthy, sick, adverb/noun; hardly, or only with difficulty, adverb (they could … afford the cost of a new car)
1LI4Monet floral subject (water …)
1LO4Hang out or droop, as a dog’s tongue
3LO4,5,6♂ version of “Lady” in nobility, or term for God; or, exclamation expressing surprise or worry
1LO5“Truck” in Britspeak
1LO5Opposite of high; sound made by cattle
1OD5Opposite of even (math); unusual
1OI4Viscous liquid used for lubrication, noun/verb; (food) a fat that's liquid at room temperature
1OL4Mixture, or spicy Spanish stew, NOT margarine
1RI4Small stream
1RO4Stir up mud or trouble (…ed the waters)
1RO4What you do to dice, verb; or Tootsie candy & small bread format, noun
1RO7Unruly (obnoxious & drunk sports fans, e.g.), adverb form is a pangram
2WI4,6Feral, adj. (… animals); not tame
1WI8Forest unaltered or unfrequented by humans, compound (also a Cape May, NJ resort city)
1WI4Last … & testament, or actor Ferrell
2WI6,7“Weeping” tree, or 1988 Val Kilmer fantasy film
1WI4Shrewd & deceitful, crafty, (a … negotiator)
2WO4,6Warm, itchy knitted fabric made from sheep hair, noun/adj.
1WO7Sentence component, letter combo with meaning, term I usually use here in place of “term", concept with which Spelling Bee players are obsessed
2WO5,7The earth, together with all its countries, peoples, & natural features (… Bank or … Health Org. or … War N or … Champion)
1WR5Using humor, especially mocking humor, without much facial expression; sardonic (… smile)
1YO4A loud wailing cry, esp. one of pain or distress, noun or verb

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