Bee Roots for 2023-07-11

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: A/BCEFIT
  • Words: 36
  • Points: 136
  • 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, ...)
1AB5Bead calculator
1AB5Become less intense (the storm suddenly …d)
1AB4Help commit a crime
1AC6African or Australian wattle tree
1AC4Trendy smoothie berry
2AC6,7Vinegar adj., or acid it contains
1AF6Influence or cause an action, move deeply, or pretend
1AT5Unfinished room below roof; garret
1BA4Rum sponge cake, or Ali & his 40 thieves
1BA4Infant, slugger Ruth, or pig film
1BA4(Put a) worm on a fishing hook; verb/noun
1BA4(Of a hawk) flap wings to escape, homophone of worm on a fish hook
1BE4Stir or strike vigorously, or trounce in a contest
1BE8Rapturous or blissful (smile), pangram adj.
1BE42nd Greek letter, ß
1CA6Taxi driver, slang
1CA5Succulent plant with a thick stem that usually has spines, lacks leaves, and occasionally has brilliantly colored flowers
1CA4Small réstaurant selling food & drinks (Intérnét, outdoor…)
1CI8Italian “slipper” bread
1EF6Make oneself appear insignificant, or remove a mark from an exterior
1FA4Front part of head containing eyes, nose, & mouth 😀; noun/verb
1FA51 side of a cut gem
1FA4Thing that is known (for a …)
1FA4Destiny, kismet, 1 of 3 Greek goddesses who determine yours
1FE4Achievement requiring great courage, skill, or strength (no easy …), noun
1FE4Soft Greek goat cheese, cubed when served
1FI4Italian car brand (part of Chrysler), formal decree, or arbitrary order
1TA5Musical direction meaning “silent”
1TA5Understood without being stated (… agreement), adj.
1TA4Diplomacy, sensitivity
1TA6Action planned to achieve a specific end (negotiating …)
1TA7Fine lustrous silk with crisp texture used for formal gowns
2TI5,6Shin bone

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