Bee Roots for 2023-05-31

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/GHORUW
  • Words: 44
  • Points: 196
  • 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, ...)
1GO4Person who wears dark clothing, dark rock genre, or German invader of Rome
1GO4Swollen foot disease from excess uric acid; Ben Franklin had it
1GR6Small picturesque cave (the Blue … in Capri)
1GR5Paste for filling gaps in tiles
1GR6Get bigger (kid, plant)
1HO4Owl sound
1HU4Injure (physically or emotionally), verb/adj.
2OU7,9Get bigger (kid, plant)
1OU5Should or probable (to), verb
1OU5$ spent, to a CPA, literal opposite of “income”; or, in gerund form, extroverted, compound
1OU5Closing show music (antonym begins with IN–)
1OU10Use your brain better than someone else, comparative verb, compound made from opposite of in + what your brain does
1RO4Plant anchor that sucks up water
1RO6Cheap liquor (literally, what it does to your stomach), compound
1RO5Device or blade that spins
1RO4Disorderly retreat, or decisive defeat
1TH8Rigorous, meticulous (… understanding, … examination)
1TH4Archaic singular “you” (“Romeo, wherefore art …”)
1TH6Despite the fact that, or however; conjunction or adv. (al-…)
1TH7Idea or opinion, noun (here’s a…); or used your brain, past tense verb
1TH10In every part of (“English is spoken …the US)
1TH5Hurl (a baseball, e.g.)
1TO4Short horn sound; noun/verb
1TO5What you chew with
1TO4Bull, Spanish
1TO4Legal wrong, NOT pastry
1TO5Difficult (“… break, kid”) or durable adj.
1TO4Take a guided one of these in a foreign city (on a … bus?) adj/noun/verb
1TO4Promote, or offer horse racing tips
1TR4Fast walking pace for horses or people
1TR5Archaic var. of “honesty”; you pledge your … in marriage vows
1TR6Long, narrow container for feeding & watering livestock
1TR5Common game fish (rainbow …, e.g.)
1TR5Honesty (“… or dare”)
1TU5Private instructor
1TU4Ballet skirt, or S Afr Bishop Desmond
1WO4Slang exclamation of elation, or Amazon daily deals siteag motto "Don't … on me"
1WO4Medicinal plant (St. John’s …), or liquid extract from brewing grains
1WO5Value (net …)
1WR5Angry, archaic
1WR7Archaic participle of “work” (biblical “What hath God …”), perfect pangram

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