Bee Roots for 2023-07-04

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: O/ACDIMT
  • Words: 44
  • Points: 178
  • 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, ...)
1AM4A supply of bullets, slang abbreviation
2AT4,6Basic unit of matter, “… Ant” superhero, noun/adjective (… bomb)
1CA5Bean source of Hershey Bars
1CA4Clothing that helps you hide, slang abbr.
1CI4“Hi” or “Bye” in Italian (“… bella”)
1CO4Outdoor jacket (trench-…)
1CO5Central American raccoon
1CO41st part of popular soda brand name
1CO5Spherical or nearly spherical bacterium
1CO5Hot winter drink with marshmallows, or the powder it’s made from
1CO4Concluding event, remark, or section, especially in music
1CO4Prolonged unconscious state
1CO5Paid jokester, or “… book” with superheroes
1CO5Curly punctuation mark that separates phrases
1CO6Perpetrate, pledge, or put into a mental ward
1CO4Foolish old ♂, or water bird
1DI8Basic unit of matter, “… Ant” superhero, noun/adjective (… bomb)
1DI6Single-celled alga which has a cell wall of silica
1DI5“Same here” or “same as above”
1DO4Extinct bird; or stupid person, slang
1DO6Thingamajig, slang; ends in “father” nickname
1DO4Terrible fate (they fell to their …), or pioneering 1st person shooter game
1DO6Slang: company that relies largely on internet commerce
2ID5,9Slang phrase particular to a language (“raining cats & dogs”), noun
2ID5,7Stupid person (village …)
1IO49th Greek letter, I; or extremely small amount
1MO5♀ parent, slang
1MO4Water ditch surrounding a castle
1MO4Emotional state (happy, angry, sad, etc.)
1MO4Irrelevant, in law (it’s a … point), adj.; or obscure verb meaning to raise a topic for discussion
1MO5Short phrase encapsulating beliefs of an institution (Marines’ “Semper Fi”)
1OC5Group of 8
1OM4Leave out, verb
1TA4Mexican filled tortilla, or “… Bell” restaurant
1TA6Skin “ink”
1TO4Frog cousin
1TO7Virtuoso musical piece (Bach’s “...& Fugue in D Minor”)
1TO6Ketchup & ragù fruit
1TO6♂ feline, compound that starts with a ♂ name (Selleck, Petty, e.g.)
1TO6New Zealand small bird (Magnum, P.I star 1st name + breast, slang)
1TO4Short horn sound; noun/verb

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