Bee Roots for 2023-04-25

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: D/ABGILN
  • Words: 52
  • Points: 304
  • Pangrams: 3

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, ...)
1AB7Accept or act in accordance with a decision or law; or tolerate something; or continue without fading (…ing love)
1AD6Join something to something else
1AD7Confuse, muddle
1BA7Emblem worn as a mark of office, membership, or employment, noun/verb
2BA4,7Head with no hair, or tire with no tread
1BA6Narrative song; or a slow sentimental or romantic song
2BA4,7Musical group, or loop (as in “wedding” & “arm”), present + past
1BA9Strip of material used to protect a wound or injured part of the body
2BA7,8Mask or headscarf, 2 spellings
1BI7Offer to pay a price at an auction
1BI6Remain or stay somewhere, archaic verb (you must go and I must …)
2BI4,7Fasten tightly, verb; problematic situation, noun
1BI5Decorative mark worn in the middle of the forehead
1BL7The sharp part of a knife or saw, noun; or a long thin leaf of a plant (… of grass), noun; or skate using inline skates, verb
1BL5Not spicy at all; or without strong features; or dull and unremarkable
2BL5,8Unable to see, adj.; or render unable to see, verb; or a structure where hunters hide, noun
1DA7Press lightly with a piece of absorbent material in order to clean or dry something, verb; or a small amount of something, noun (Brylcreem's "A little …'ll do ya!")
1DA8Participate in a casual or superficial way (he …ed in writing when he was younger)
1DA4Mild cuss (just get the … thing working!); euphemism for “condemn to Hell” expletive
1DA8Hang or swing loosely
2DI4,7What you turn on a rotary phone or radio knob
1DI8Pass time aimlessly or unproductively
1DI7Make a hole in the ground; enjoy (slang)
1DI4Pickle spice
1DI6Eat at a restaurant
2DI4,7Dent (a … on the car door), or 1st ½ of doorbell sound
1GA7go around from one place to another, in the pursuit of pleasure or entertainment
1GA8The world of criminal groups
2GI4,7Coat with element Au, atomic no. 79
1GL4Pleased, delighted
1GL5Organ in the body that secretes chemicals
1GL7What an engineless plane does (hanging optional), or dental floss brand
1ID6Not doing anything; or, said of an engine, running but in gear
1IN6Not on the coast
1IN6Decorate something by embedding pieces of a different material in it, flush with its surface
1LA6Load cargo (root is archaic, derivatives are still in use)
1LA7Long-handled utensil for serving soup
2LA4,7Alight on the ground, verb/noun
1LA4Put something down
1LI9Sex drive
1NA4Nothing, Spanish
1NA5Greek water nymph, or dragonfly larva

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