Bee Roots for 2023-06-17

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: B/DENOTU
  • Words: 57
  • Points: 284
  • Pangrams: 3

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, ...)
1BE6Furniture you sleep on, noun/verb
1BE4Past participle of “to exist” (“How have you … doing?”)
1BE4Borscht veg
2BE4,4Shape into a curve, or Oregon city
1BE5Japanese lunchbox
1BO6Make a quick short movement up and down (… for apples); short haircut for women
2BO4,5Be an omen of a particular outcome
1BO6Candy, or 2X “good" in French
2BO4,6Agent 007, Brit spy James
2BO4,5Skeleton part, or what dogs chew & bury; study intensely
1BO6Hat tied under chin, or Britspeak for car hood
1BO6Small ape related to chimps
1BO5Express disapproval at a game, verb; what ghosts say
1BO4Breast, slang
1BO6“Owie” you kiss & make better, mistake, or what 2 ghosts say
1BO4Favor, poetic (grant me a …), noun
2BO4,6Cowboy or winter shoe
1BO6Baby foot covering
1BO6String of connected hijacked computers that send spam & launch attacks
2BO5,7Walk or run with leaping strides, verb/noun; or set limits, verb/noun
1BO4Short period (… of insomnia or depression, e.g.), or wrestling or boxing match
1BU6Part of a plant that will become a flower, noun/verb
2BU4,6Tap a baseball instead of swinging
2BU4,6Hit with head or horns (… heads with), verb; or slang abbr. for your rump, noun
1BU5Isolated hill with steep sides & flat top
2BU6,8Shirt fastener, or to fasten shirt, verb + pangram gerund
2DE6,7Skeleton part, or what dogs chew & bury; study intensely
1DE4Money you borrowed
2DE5,7Appear for the first time, verb/noun, used especially for young socialites and Spelling Bee words
2DO5,7Be uncertain, especially if you think something is probably not true, verb/noun (benefit of the …)
1DU6Add sound, usually in a different language than the original, to video; or, give an informal name or nickname
1EB5Recede, especially in reference to the tide
1EB4Black, poetic; and/or black wood (“… & Ivory”)
1NO4Beginner, gamer slang
1OB4Double reed orchestra-tuning instrument
1OU8Traveling away from a place, especially at the beginning of a round trip, compound adj./adv.
2TU4,5A long, hollow cylinder (Londoners call their subway "The …"); or ride on an inner …, verb
2UN6,6Shape into a curve, or Oregon city
2UN7,9Walk or run with leaping strides, verb/noun; or set limits, verb/noun
2UN8,10Shirt fastener, or to fasten shirt, verb + pangram gerund
1UN9Be uncertain, especially if you think something is probably not true, verb/noun (benefit of the …)

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