Bee Roots for 2023-07-12

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/EFIMTY
  • Words: 42
  • Points: 201
  • Pangrams: 1
Source: New York Times

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, ...)
1EM7Renowned (scholar); used with “domain” to mean gov property grab
1EN5Wartime foe
1EN6Extreme hostility or hatred
1EN7Friendly understanding between countries (French)
1EN6Something with distinct existence; foreign business ones have to register
1FE5Deceptive movement in sports (esp. swordplay), not "keel over"
2FE8,10Looking or behaving in ways traditionally associated with women, adj.
1FI7Quinceañera age
1FI4Impose a $ penalty (the judge …d him $100 for speeding)
1FI6Having limits (amount), not ∞, adj.
1IM8About to happen (… demise, e.g.), adj.
1IN8Having limits (amount), not ∞, adj.
1IN8That which is boundless or endless, represented by an 8 that has fallen over
1IN5Concave belly button, slang
1IN6Determined to do (I’m … on finishing this puzzle), adj.; or objective, noun
1ME6Experienced and trusted adviser, usually an older person
1MI4A person’s look or expression, NOT an average
1MI4Where you dig for ore, or anti-ship bomb
1MI4Smaller version (as in Cooper car), slang abbr.
1MI51/60 dram, UK music ½ note, or calligraphy short vertical stroke
2MI4,5Breath candy or its flavor or plant source, noun; or create coins, verb
1MI6Fingerless winter glove for a kid or Sen. Bernie Sanders at inauguration
1NE4Hawaiian goose & state bird
1NE5UK outhouse, slang; or butterfly & fish mesh catcher adj.
1NI5Particularly skillful (… footwork); or fashionable; stylish (… shoes)
2NI4,6Number of justices on Supreme Court
1NI8One more than the number of holes on a golf course
1NI5Foolish or silly person
1NI4Part of the day when it’s dark, slang spelling
1TE4Adolescent (…ager), or numbers 13–19
1TE5Minuscule, or trendy youth (…-bopper)
1TE8Set of rooms within a house, or cheap multi-family bldg.
1TE5A principle or belief; or a Christopher Nolan time-travel film
1TE4Shelter you sleep in while camping
1TI5Silvery-white metal, atomic number 50 (Cat on a Hot … Roof)
1TI4Fork prong
1TI4Shade of color, noun; or darken car windows, verb
1TI4Very small, adj., “Christmas Carol” kid
1YE5Matchmaker or gossip, Yiddish

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