Bee Roots for 2023-04-21

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: I/ALRTUV
  • Words: 40
  • Points: 164
  • 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, ...)
1AL4Illumination (Let there be …); noun/verb
1AR4Opera solo
1AR4Seed covering
1AR7Get there; what you do at the end of a trip
2AT5,6Large open-air or skylight covered space surrounded by a building, common in ancient Roman houses; an upper cavity of the heart
1AT5Move into a sloping position, or fight windmills (… at)
1AV5Make use of (… yourself of), or use (to no …)
1LA4Animal or criminal den
1LA6Cowboy rope
1LI4Someone who doesn’t tell the truth
1LI4Singsong accent
1LI4₺ or ₤, Turkish or old Italian $
1RA4What a train travels on, or what you hold on stairs
1RA5Indian yogurt veg dip
1RA7Rodent hind appendage, fish, or hair style; compound
1RI4$ in Iran, Oman, & Yemen
1RI4Small stream
1RI6Religious ceremony, or common habit
1RI5Foe or competitor (sibling …-ry)
1TA4Dogs wag this hind appendage
1TA6Fringed prayer shawl
1TA4Ankle bone
1TI5Jeweled, ornamental ½ crown
1TI4Cash register or drawer, noun; “up to,” preposition; or prep soil for planting, verb
1TI4Move into a sloping position, or fight windmills (… at)
1TI7Head of govt. in name only, (UK’s Queen, e.g.), adj.
1TR5Forest path, noun; follow or fall behind, verb
1TR5Characteristic, often genetically determined (left-handedness, e.g.)
1TR7Painful or laborious ordeal, French for “work”
1TR5Courtroom proceeding
1TR5Vibratory sound, Star Trek symbiotic species (Dax, e.g.), or how Spanish say “R”
1TR6Insignificant facts (there are often contests), noun + adj.
1TR7Unimportant, insignificant
1TU5All together, musically (Italian); Little Richard “Wop bop a loo bop” song
1VI4Small glass container (… of poison), NOT despicable
1VI5Large & luxurious country house (Roman …)
1VI7Simulated, as in “…Reality goggles,” or "practically a" (tie) (pangram)
1VI5Pathogen that causes diseases such as colds, flu, or COVID; or harmful computer program that spreads across a network
1VI5Essential, or lively (… signs)

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