Bee Roots for 2023-07-20

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: L/AEHIVY
  • Words: 44
  • Points: 149
  • Pangrams: 1
Source: New Line Cinema

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, ...)
1AL5Put (fears) at rest
1AL6(Bio term) 1 of 2 or more versions of a gene
1AL5Narrow passageway between buildings. (… cat, …-oop)
1AL4Friend (person, country) who joins you for a common purpose in a conflict, noun/verb
1AL5Exist, verb; or not on tape (TV show), adj.
1AV5Make use of (… yourself of), or use (to no …)
1EE4Snake-like fish
2EV4,6Wicked (ELO’s “… Woman”, Santana's "… Ways")
1HA4Frozen rain “stone,” noun; or summon a taxi, verb
1HA5Kosher in Islam
1HA4Strong, well, fit (… & hearty); or Revolutionary War patriot Nathan
1HA4Corridor, or Let’s Make a Deal’s Monty
2HA5,6Middle eastern candy made from sesame paste
1HA5Divide into 2 equal parts (½ as a verb)
1HE4Recover from injury
1HE7Weighing a lot; opposite of light
1HE4Back of your foot (Achilles’ weakness), noun; or (of a dog) follow closely
1HE4Satan’s domain
1HE5Obscure word for tool or weapon handle; start of “Swiss” font name
2HI4,5What Jack & Jill went up
1IL4Not healthy, sick, adverb/noun; hardly, or only with difficulty, adverb (they could … afford the cost of a new car)
1LA4Molten rock from a volcano
1LE5Depart, verb
1LE5River embankment to prevent flooding
2LE5,7Flat, adj.; or straightening tool with bubble, noun
1LE4Impose a tax, homophone of embankment above, verb
1LI4Monet floral subject (water …)
2LI4,6Exist, verb; or not on tape (TV show), adj.
1VA4Low area of land between mountains (… of Tears)
1VA6Low area of land between hills or mountains, typically with a river or stream flowing through it
1VA5Device that controls passage of fluid or air (shut-off …, heart …)
1VE4Calf meat (… Parmesan)
1VE4Bride’s face covering
1VI4Small glass container (… of poison), NOT despicable
2VI4,6Despicable, NOT a small glass container; adj.
1VI5Large & luxurious country house (Roman …)
1YE4Shout (Billy Idol’s “Rebel …”)

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