Bee Roots for 2023-05-14

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/AMNOUY
  • Words: 43
  • Points: 195
  • Pangrams: 1
Source: Pinterest

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, ...)
1AM6How much, noun/verb
1AN7Study of the names, shapes, sizes, and connections of your body parts (Gray's …)
2AN7,8Word opposite in meaning to another ("bad" is an … of "good")
1AT4Basic unit of matter, “… Ant” superhero, noun/adjective (… bomb)
2AU4,5Parent’s sister
1AU4Car, abbr., or “self” prefix
1AU7Fast food restaurant where simple foods and drinks are served by vending machines
2AU8,9Moving mechanical device made in imitation of a human being; for techies, also has a meaning in computer science, for example cellular …
1AU8Right or condition of self-government, pangram
1AU6Fall (the season, not loose your balance)
1MA5Ray (fish)
1MO4Water ditch surrounding a castle
1MO8Sound that is unchanging in pitch (“She spoke in a … that put me to sleep”)
1MO4Irrelevant, in law (it’s a … point)
1MO5Short phrase encapsulating beliefs of an institution (Marines’ “Semper Fi”)
1MO5Get on a horse, or geographical name start (St. Helens, Shasta, Everest)
1MU6Undergo genetic change (viruses do it all the time)
1MU4Mixed-breed dog, slang
1MU6Sheep meat (chops)
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
1OT7Turkish Empire; or low, upholstered seat or footstool without a back or arms
1OU6Overpower with skill and/or physical strength and/or numbers; compound made from opposite of in + ♂
1TA10Equivalent in seriousness to; virtually the same as
1TA6Skin “ink”
1TA5Worn & shabby, or of poor quality; Scottish
1TA5Provoke with words
1TA4Not slack, as a rope, adj.
1TO6Ketchup & ragù fruit
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
1TU5Stomach, slang (… tuck)
1TU4Chicken of the sea (Ahi …)
1TU4Ballet skirt, or S Afr Bishop Desmond
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