Bee Roots for 2023-06-04

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: B/ADIMNR
  • Words: 35
  • Points: 157
  • 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, ...)
1AR7Cloth strip worn on your biceps, such as a black one for mourning, compound
1BA4Rum sponge cake, or Ali & his 40 thieves
1BA6Common yellow plantain variety
1BA4Musical group, or loop (as in “wedding” & “arm”), present + past
2BA7,8Mask or headscarf, 2 spellings
1BA4Sharp projection near end of fishhook or on top of wire fence; start of Streisand name
1BA9An uncivilized or primitive person
1BA4Archaic term for “poet”; Shakespeare’s “… of Avon” nickname
1BA7Serving ♀ at a tavern, compound
1BA6Serving ♂ at a tavern, compound
1BA4Large farm bldg. for storage & livestock
1BI4Fasten tightly, verb; problematic situation, noun
1BI5Decorative mark worn in the middle of the forehead
1BI4An avian; it has wings & a beak (crow, robin, etc.)
1BI9Annoyingly stupid and shallow person, compound made from feathered flying creature + organ of thought
1BR4Small nail, or Janet's hubby in “Rocky Horror”
1BR5Hair or challah weave, noun/verb
1BR5What you think with (or, in the case of some men, what you should think with)
1BR4Grain husk (Raisin … cereal)
1BR5Identifying mark burned on livestock, noun/verb; or name of a company that offers multiple products, noun/verb
1BR5Prickly shrub (… patch)
1BR4Projecting edge on a hat base (such as a ballcap bill)
1DR4Dull, lacking brightness or interest, adj.
1DR4Archaic word for a very small amount, noun; or to let fall, verb; …s & [dreary and dull]s; start of bouncing a game orb when moving on the court, or what small amounts of liquid do when falling
2IA4,5Poetic metrical foot (…ic pentameter)
1MA5Venomous African green or black snake
1MA7Percussion instrument with wooden bars & resonators
1MI8(Anatomy) mesencephalon; deals with vision & hearing; pangram
1MI6(Botany) central vein of a leaf (think central chest cage bone)
1MI7Hotel fridge with overpriced drinks & snacks
1NI5Large gray rain cloud
1RA5Jewish minister or teacher
1RA5Adj. for a dog frothing at the mouth or a fanatical person

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