Bee Roots for 2023-05-01

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: P/BELOTY
  • Words: 45
  • Points: 159
  • Pangrams: 1
Source: Fossil Rim Wildlife Center

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, ...)
1BE5Fast jazz style (“Cowboy …” anime series)
1BE4Car horn sound, noun/verb
1BL5Cover a profanity with a sound (… out)
1BL5Electronic tone similar to profanity cover sound, or mistake (usually with –ER)
1EL5Run away to marry
1EP4Fencing sword
1LO6Move in an ungainly way in a series of clumsy paces or bounds
2LO4,5Closed curve
1LO4Run like a wolf, with bounding strides
2PE6,6Small rock (… Beach golf course near Monterey, CA)
1PE4Skin of a fruit, noun; or to remove it, verb
1PE4Baby bird sound, Easter marshmallow, or a furtive look
1PE6Small, rounded, compressed mass (food, buckshot, rabbit dung)
1PE4Bombard (with snowballs), verb; or animal fur, noun
1PE6Humanity, or celeb mag with annual “sexiest man”
1PE5Energy, liveliness, noun/verb
1PE5Trivial (… crime) (think late “Heartbreakers” singer Tom)
1PE6Hallucinogenic cactus
1PL4Commoner, slang insult, from Latin
1PL5Military academy cadet, slang
1PL4Sound of Alka–Seltzer before the fizz
1PL4Scheme, noun or verb (Roth’s “The … Against America”); or storyline in fiction
1PL4Cunning ruse
1PO4Author of verse
1PO4What a firefighter slides down
1PO4Opinion survey, homophone of above (straw, Gallup, e.g.)
1PO4Croquet on horseback
1PO5Small growth on a stalk (in your colon, e.g.)
1PO4Swimming venue
1PO4Tire out (I’m …-ed); or defecate, slang verb/noun
1PO4Francis, Pius, etc. (head of Roman Catholic Church)
1PO6(Historical or British) sweet or pretty child, or voodoo doll
1PO5Flower used to make opium or honor veterans
1PO8Large, protruding, rotund stomach (…pig & stove, e.g.); compound pangram that ends in list word
1PO5Kid’s toilet
2TE5,6Native Am conical hut; 2 spellings
1TE8Obsolete printer that sent & received messages
1TO4Small grayish slender-bodied shark, or mango tree grove; homophone of grayish-brown color
1TO6Become unsteady & fall, or knock over (think regime change); verb
1TY4What you do on a keyboard
1TY4Keybord eror, slang
1YE4Short, sharp cry of pain; or business review site & app

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