Bee Roots for 2023-05-02

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: T/ABNOUY
  • Words: 43
  • Points: 162
  • 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, ...)
1AB5Head monk, perhaps at Downton
1AB5Regarding, preposition
1AB4Be next to; share a common border
1AT7Slang 3–word contraction: exclamation of encouragement or congratulations; ends in young ♂
2AU4,5Parent’s sister
1AU4Car, abbr., or “self” prefix
1BA5What you use to hit the ball in games such as baseball or cricket; flying mammal
1BA6Young ♂ who tends the Yankees’ equipment, esp. sticks; compound
1BA5Thin stick used by a conductor or passed in a relay race
1BO4Small ship, as in “tug-”
1BO4Cowboy or winter shoe
1BO5Stolen goods (pirate or war …), or slang for ass (shake your …)
1BO6Study of plants
1BO6Reward for capturing a fugitive (…hunter), paper towel brand, or “Mutiny on the …” ship
1BO4Short period (… of insomnia or depression, e.g.), or wrestling or boxing match
1BU4Tap a baseball instead of swinging
1BU7Able to float, pangram
1BU4Hit with head or horns (… heads with), verb; or slang abbr. for your rump, noun
1BU6Shirt fastener, or to fasten shirt, verb + pangram gerund
1BU6The purchase of a controlling share in a company (leveraged …), compound noun
1NA7Hypothetical, very small, self-propelled machine
1NA6Swimming or floating adj. from Latin
1NA5Well dressed, adj.
1NU5Fruit consisting of a hard or tough shell around an edible kernel
1OA4Grain that is Quaker's specialty
1ON4Preposition when mounting an animal or boarding a large vehicle
1TA5Striped cat with a distinctive M on its forehead
1TA5Forbidden, cultural no-nos
1TA6Skin “ink”
1TA5Worn & shabby, or of poor quality; Scottish
1TA5Provoke with words
1TA4Not slack, as a rope, adj.
1TO4Broadway award, or Maj. Nelson on "Jeannie"
1TO4Animated film or character, slang abbr. (car…)
1TO4Short horn sound; noun/verb
1TO4Promote, or offer horse racing tips
1TU4Biggest brass instrument; Sousaphone
1TU5Derogatory adj. for someone who’s overweight (think bathing basin with a rubber duckie)
1TU4Chicken of the sea (Ahi …)
1TU4Ballet skirt, or S Afr Bishop Desmond
1UN8Shirt fastener, or to fasten shirt, verb + pangram gerund
1UN4Archaic preposition (Handel’s Messiah “For … us a child is born”)

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