Bee Roots for 2023-07-16

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/ADORTU
  • Words: 54
  • Points: 247
  • Pangrams: 2
Source: Justin1569 at English Wikipedia

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, ...)
1AD5Decorate (… with) (Xmas tree, e.g.)
1AN4Soon, poetically
1AN9Write something, for example music, in a specialized system
1AR6Nearby (it's … here somewhere, just … the corner) adj.; or encircling, preposition
1AR6Complete & utter (nonsense), archaic adj.
1AU4Parent’s sister
1DA4Mild exclamation; or mend holes in socks, verb
1DA5Make someone feel intimidated or apprehensive (a task, opponent, or situation)
1DO5Someone who gives (blood, organs, $)
1DO5Ring-shaped fried cake, modern spelling
1DU5Shoulder-shrug non-response to a question; “I have no idea”; slang
1NA4Indiaan flaat breaad
1NA4Nothing, Spanish
1NA4Grandma, slang; or Peter Pan dog
1NA8Provide a spoken commentary
1NA6Swimming or floating adj. from Latin
1NO6French opposite of “oui,” + “painting & sculpture”; compound
1NO412:00, midday, 🕛
1NO7Write something, for example music, in a specialized system
1NO4In grammar, a person, place or thing
1ON4Preposition when mounting an animal or boarding a large vehicle
1OR7Full, round, and imposing voice; or pompous writing
2OU6,6Sprint more quickly or farther in a footrace than someone else, compound
1RA5Harmful gas that seeps into homes; atomic no. 86
1RA4Kirk’s Yeoman Janice on Star Trek, or South African $
1RA5Slang for odd or suspicious person (short for chosen by chance)
1RA4Speak or shout wildly & at length
1RA6Palm fiber for furniture
1RO4Horse with 2–colored coat
1RO5Musical form with recurring theme, often final movement of a piece, from Italian
1RO6Plump (Saint Nick might be called this)
1RO7Circular, domed hall (US Capitol, e.g.), pangram
1RO5Circular, adj.
1RU9Evasive treatment (“they gave me the …”), compound (lit., jog in a circle)
1RU6Slight error in rotating tool, compound
1RU4Smallest of the litter
1TA7Clay oven used in & near India; add –I suffix for food from it
1TA7Onomatopoetic name for war trumpet
1TA6Hindu/Buddhist mystical text, involving sex
1TA6Plaid patterned Scottish cloth
1TA5Provoke with words
1TO4Animated film or character, slang abbr. (car…)
1TO4Ripped, adj. or past participle
1TO7Cyclone that took Dorothy to Oz
1TU4Chicken of the sea (Ahi …)
1TU6Flat, treeless Arctic region with frozen soil, or Toyota pickup model
1TU4Change direction, verb/noun/adj. (use your … signal when driving!)
1TU10Unexpected change, amount of time needed to complete a task, or hwy. pullout for changing direction; compound pangram
1TU7Number of people who show up at an event (we had a great … last night for our poetry reading), compound
1UD4Japanese noodles
1UN4Perform an action, achieve or complete something; hairstyle (American slang); social event (British slang)
1UN4Archaic preposition (Handel’s Messiah “For … us a child is born”)

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