Bee Roots for 2023-05-12

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: V/ACENOT
  • Words: 28
  • Points: 118
  • 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, ...)
1AV6Long-legged wading bird with a slender upturned bill and strikingly patterned plumage
1CA4Spanish sparkling wine, or vein to heart (vena …)
1CA4Large underground chamber, where stalactites and stalagmites form and bats live, noun; or give in (slang)
1CA6Warning; … emptor is Latin for “buyer beware,” noun
1CO7Surface that curves inward like the interior of a sphere
1CO7Transfer heat by the movement of air - warm air goes up and cool air goes down
1CO7Bring together for a meeting
1CO7Place where nuns live
1CO4Small sheltered bay (“Pirate’s …”)
1CO5A gathering of witches
1CO8Formal, solemn, and binding agreement
1CO5Yearn to possess (thy neighbor’s wife)
1EA4Roof overhang, NOT Adam’s mate
1EV4Number that can be divided by 2 without a remainder, or flat & smooth; adj.; or to make or become that (… out the edges)
1EV5Thing that happens (“When in the course of human …s”)
1NA4Central part of a church building
1NO8Thing that happens (“When in the course of human …s”)
2NO4,5Star explosion, PBS science show, or Chevy model that doesn’t go (in Spanish)
1OC6The interval between one musical pitch and another with double its frequency
1OV5Adjective for egg shape (biology)
1OV4Appliance for baking
1VA6Opposite of occupied
1VA6Leave a place that was previously occupied (… the premises immediately!), or legal term for cancel (contract, judgment, or charge); verb
1VA4Device that shows wind direction
1VE4Exhaust outlet (clothes dryer, e.g.), noun; or let out your frustrations, verb
1VE4Presidential rejection of a Congressional bill, noun/verb
1VO4What you do on Election Day, noun/verb

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