Bee Roots for 2023-05-17

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: A/CEGKMO
  • Words: 30
  • Points: 84
  • 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, ...)
1AC4Peak; or where Wile E. Coyote orders his supplies
1AG4Very excited to hear or see something, adj.
1AM4A supply of bullets, slang abbreviation
1AM4Frenzied, adj. (Spock’s “… Time,” run …)
1CA5Bean source of Hershey Bars
1CA4Barred enclosure, or actor Nicolas
1CA4Baked dessert, often with layers and icing; traditional birthday party fare
1CA5Jewelry with a carved portrait; bit part in a movie played by a celebrity (… appearance)
1CA4Clothing that helps you hide, slang abbr.
1CA4Travel toward a particular place, tell your dog to move toward you, or slang for “to orgasm”
1CO41st part of popular soda brand name
1CO5Hot winter drink with marshmallows, or the powder it’s made from
1CO4Prolonged unconscious state
1CO5Curly punctuation mark that separates phrases
1GA4Super enthusiastic; Biden inauguration National Anthem singer
1GA4Competitive form of play (poker, soccer, Scrabble, etc.)
1GA8Fighting rooster; U of South Carolina mascot, pangram
1GA5Γ, γ (3rd Greek letter), & shortest-length EM radiation (… rays)
1GA4Measuring dial (fuel …)
1MA4Self-defense pepper spray, staff, or spice from a nutmeg
1MA4Literary term for a wizard
1MA5Hot fluid below Earth’s crust; lava before it’s erupted
1MA4Assemble (Please … dinner tonight; I’m too tired) or force (Oh yeah? … me!), verb
1MA4Large & fast blue shark, or Japanese actor
2MA4,5♀ parent, slang
1ME5Holiest city in Islam, or place of attraction (shopping …)
1ME4Greek prefix for large, often used to mean 1 million
1MO5♀ parent, slang
1OM5Last Greek letter Ω, watch brand, fish fatty acid

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