Bee Roots for 2023-04-20

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/AEHMOP
  • Words: 48
  • Points: 175
  • 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, ...)
1AE4Geologic time period, spelled with an æsc; “… Flux” anime
1AM4Prayer-ending word
1AN7Colorful flower, or sea creature where clown fish hide
1AN4Soon, poetically
2AP6,6Tarzan the …
1AP5Sleep breathing disorder
1EN5Rectal wash (Fleet, e.g.)
1HE5Hair or temp. tattoo dye
1HO9Word that sounds like others but has different meaning or spelling (to/too/two)
1HO4Sharpen (a blade or skill)
1MA6Wealth that’s an evil influence, per the New Testament & Milton
1MA4Hair on a horse or ♂ lion’s neck
1MA5Exodus food from the sky
1ME4The average in math, noun; unkind, adj. (“… Girls”); or intend (I didn’t … to do it)
1MO4Sound of pain or sexual pleasure (Harry Potter’s ghost “…-ing Myrtle”)
1MO41–channel sound abbreviation, or glandular fever “kissing disease” abbreviation
1MO4NASA Apollo missions landed on or circled it
1NA4Indiaan flaat breaad
1NA4What you’re called (Kevin or Susan, e.g.)
1NA4Grandma, slang; or Peter Pan dog
1NA4Scruff of the neck
1NE4Tide with least difference between low & high water
1NE4Hawaiian goose & state bird
1NE4Atomic number 10, gas in lighted signs
1NO4Quantity of zero; “all” antonym
1NO412:00, midday, 🕛
1NO4Slang negation
1OM4Portent, or Damien’s horror films (“The …”)
1OP4Pull on a door handle to gain admittance, verb/adj.
1PA5Song of praise or triumph
1PA6Cent. Am. country with a canal & hat
1PA4Single sheet of window glass
1PE6♀ of a bird with showy plumage
1PE4Backside of a hammer
2PE6,6Archaic for writer; compound made from “ink stick” & ♂
1PE5Tube pasta, vodka optional
1PE4Low-ranking worker, drudge
1PH6Remarkable person; slang abbr.
2PH9,10Observable fact or event; remarkable person, thing, or event
1PH5Device to make calls (tele…)
1PH7Linguistics term for smallest unit in a language with its own distinct sound (e.g., C in ‘car”)
1PH5Record player, slang abbr.
1PO7Marine game fish, or “...Beach,” city N of Ft. Lauderdale
1PO4Unleavened cornbread, often Southern or Native American

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