Bee Roots for 2023-04-22

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: M/EFILOT
  • Words: 46
  • Points: 145
  • 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, ...)
1EM4Give off (radiation, signals)
1EM5Express feelings (especially when acting)
1FE5Woman in French
1FI4Movie, or celluloid that cameras used to use, noun/verb
1IT4One thing as part of a set, 10 or fewer of these at an express register
1LE9Short, recurring musical phrase, pangram
1LI8The period between birth and death; or cable network geared toward women, compound
1LI4Small green citrus fruit
1LI5Size, speed, or amount restriction
1LI4Chauffeured, stretched car, slang abbr.
1LO4Cloth weaving device
1ME4Encounter (I’m supposed to … him in the park)
1ME5Confusing scuffle
1ME4What ice cream does when you leave it out of the freezer, verb
1ME4Viral internet funny image, noun/verb
1ME4Office note abbr.
1ME4Dispense justice (“… out punishment”), homophone of “animal flesh for consumption”
1ME6Person’s ability to cope with adversity (test your …), NOT iron or tin; noun
1MI4Annoy slightly, verb (it’s usually an –ED adj.)
1MI45,280 feet, or 1.6 km
1MI4Wheat or pepper grinder
1MI6Grain used as food; pearl is most common
1MI4Silent performer
1MI5Old stencil duplicator, abbr. (missing –graph suffix)
1MI4Tiny tick, or very small amount (I'm a … testy today)
1MI4Catcher’s glove, or Sen. Romney
1MO4To work hard (archaic); homophone of bris snipper
1MO4Burrowing blind rodent, or embedded spy
1MO4Mobster’s ♀
1MO4Shed feathers, hair, or skin; verb
1MO4Irrelevant, in law (it’s a … point)
1MO4Speck of dust
1MO5Place to sleep when you’re travelling (… 6, e.g.)
1MO5Short piece of sacred choral music, typically polyphonic & unaccompanied
1MO5Distinctive feature in an artistic or literary composition
1MO6Biology term for capable of motion
1MO6Pattern of irregular spots; usually an adj.
1MO5Short phrase encapsulating beliefs of an institution (Marines’ “Semper Fi”)
2OM6,8Fried eggs folded around fillings such as cheese
1OM4Leave out, verb
1TE4Be full or swarming with; homophone of Yankees group
1TI4What clocks measure & display
1TO4Large, heavy book
1TO6New Zealand small bird (Magnum, P.I star 1st name + breast, slang)
1TO5Symbolic object (… pole)

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