Bee Roots for 2023-05-07

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: Y/ABELOV
  • Words: 31
  • Points: 163
  • Pangrams: 2

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, ...)
1AB5Bldg. occupied by monks or nuns (“Downton …”)
1AB4Having the power, skill, means, or opportunity to do something, adj. (She was … to walk at 14 months)
1AL5Put (fears) at rest
1AL5Narrow passageway between buildings. (… cat, …-oop)
1AL5Two or more metals combined to make a new one, (brass, steel, etc.); noun/verb
1AL4Friend (person, country) who joins you for a common purpose in a conflict, noun/verb
1BA4Infant, noun; or treat like one, verb
1BA7Young ♂ who retrieves orbs in games (tennis, e.g.), compound
1BE5Fix a rope around a cleat, rock, pin, or other object, to secure it; or stop that, nautical slang
1BE7Young ♂ at a hotel who carries bags in response to a ding, compound
1BE5Stomach, slang
1BE4Flock of quail
1BL6Reveal a secret by indiscreet talk
1BL6Gelatinous mass, or 1950s alien horror film
1BO5Seabird with colorful feet, or gag "prize"
1EE4Snake-like fish
1EY7Body part you see with, compound
1LE4Impose a tax, homophone of embankment above, verb
1LO5Bldg. entrance area or waiting room
1LO8Southern US yellow pine tree, or SE US tea evergreen
3LO5,7,8The ♥ in I♥NY, or “zero” in tennis
1LO6Exquisitely beautiful, adj./noun
2LO5,7Faithful, devoted
1OB4Heed, verb (unlike a cat, a well-trained dog will … commands to “stay” & “sit”)
1VA6Low area of land between hills or mountains, typically with a river or stream flowing through it
1VO6A set of bullets or arrows discharged at the same time, noun; or strike or kick a ball before it touches the ground, verb
1VO10Olympic sport played on the beach or in a gym, compound pangram
1YE4Shout (Billy Idol’s “Rebel …”)

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