Bee Roots for 2023-06-28

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: F/GILNOP
  • Words: 32
  • Points: 181
  • 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, ...)
1FI6Small flute used with a drum in military bands, noun/verb
1FI6Folder of related papers, or tool for smoothing edges (fingernails, e.g.), noun/verb
2FI4,7Add material until the container or hole is at capacity
1FI6Gesture made by the sudden forcible straightening of a finger curled up against the thumb; homophone of the late Queen Elizabeth’s late husband Prince …
1FI6Impose a $ penalty (the judge …d him $100 for speeding)
2FL5,8Throw forcefully (monkeys often … poop at spectators)
2FL4,8Turn over pancakes to cook the bottoms, verb; or comedian … Wilson
2FL8,12Light sandal, typically of plastic or rubber, with a thong between the big and second toe, noun; or repeatedly change positions on some issue, verb (gerund form is a pangram)
2FL4,8Whip (a dead horse?), verb
2FL4,8A failure (the film was a total …), or ungainly pool dive (belly …), noun/verb (gerund form is a pangram)
1FO7What you get when a cloud is at ground level (there was a multi-car pileup because of thick …), noun/verb
2FO4,7Thin aluminum sheet for wrapping leftovers, noun; or thwart, verb (Curses! …ed again)
1FO5A book (A Shakespeare first … is quite valuable), a page in a book, or a book size; from Latin for “leaf”
2FO4,7Unwise person, court jester tarot card, noun; or to trick or deceive, verb
2GO4,7Sport that has been described as "a good walk spoiled" (often attributed to Mark Twain, who probably never said it)
2GO4,7Mistake, noun; or fool around (… off), verb
1IN6Add material until the container or hole is at capacity
1IN9Material that plugs a hole, noun; or build on vacant land in a dense city
1IN4Collection of facts and tips, abbr.
1OF6Murder (slang); gerund form also means the near future
1PI8Of little worth or importance, adj. (looks like a gerund but isn't)
1PO4Exclamation of suddenness (…—it’s gone!), or Brit slang for a gay ♂

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