Bee Roots for 2023-07-05

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: N/BEFILO
  • Words: 45
  • Points: 185
  • Pangrams: 1
Source: IStock / Getty Images Plus

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, ...)
1BE7Straight, direct course between 2 points, compound (think this puzzle’s name)
1BE4Past participle of “to exist” (“How have you … doing?”)
1BI71 followed by 9 zeroes (in US & France); Latin 2 prefix
2BL4,5Russian pancake
1BO6Sewing machine thread holder
1BO6Candy, or 2X “good" in French
1BO4Skeleton part, or what dogs chew & bury; study intensely
1BO6Small ape related to chimps
1BO4Favor, poetic (grant me a …), noun
1EB4Black, poetic; and/or black wood (“… & Ivory”)
1EL5Small, delicate, impish; as a Keebler worker, adj.
1EN8Weak (…-minded), adj.
1EN7Aristocrat, aristocratic, or righteous, NOT a Peace Prize from Oslo
1FE6Cat adj./noun
1FE5Person who has been convicted of a serious crime & often can’t vote in many places as a result
1FE6Veg & seed used in cooking, esp. Italian
1FI4Impose a $ penalty (the judge …d him $100 for speeding)
1IN6Add material until the container or hole is at capacity
1IN4Collection of facts and tips, abbr.
1IN5Concave belly button, slang
1LE7Like a roaring “King” animal
1LI4Bank hold on a mortgaged property, NOT tilt
1LI8What a palm reader checks to see when you’ll die, or “Who Wants to be a Millionaire” friend assistance, compound
1LI4A queue, what you wait in for your turn
1LI5Cloth napkin fabric
1LI4Roaring animal that travels in a pride (… King)
1LO4Sex organ region of body (fruit of my …s); anagram of “… King” animal
1LO4Solitary (… wolf, e.g.), adj.
2LO4,6“Crazy” water bird on Canada $1 coin
1NE4Hawaiian goose & state bird
1NE4Atomic number 10, gas in lighted signs
1NI6Small, tentative chew, verb; or a snack, noun
1NI4Number of justices on Supreme Court
1NO9Acceptance that something is true, esp. in religion, noun (negative form is a pangram)
1NO5Aristocrat, aristocratic, or righteous, NOT a Peace Prize from Oslo
1NO4Xmas time, or playwright Coward
1NO4Quantity of zero; “all” antonym
1NO91 followed 30 zeroes; Latin 9 prefix
1NO4Beginner, gamer slang
1NO412:00, midday, 🕛
1OF7Disconnected from the internet; or out of operation, compound adj.
1ON5Veg that makes you cry when cut (for some, this is the "dreaded root veg")
1ON6Hooked up to the internet, compound adj.

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