Bee Roots for 2023-07-21

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/CMNORY
  • Words: 73
  • Points: 313
  • Pangrams: 2

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, ...)
1AC5Nut from an oak tree
1AC7Abbreviation formed from the initial letters of other words and pronounced as a word
1AM4A supply of bullets, slang abbreviation
1AN5Irritate, vex, irk
1AN4Soon, poetically
1AR61 of 2 classes in a tarot pack (major & minor), a mystery or deep secret, or specialized knowledge, noun
1AR4Musically, “with the bow,” or gas brand
2AR5,6Protective covering against weapons (suit of …)
1AR4Military land force, Navy football rival
1AR5Pleasant smell (baking bread, e.g.)
1AR5Ordered series, esp. math
1AR6Steep-sided gully in SW US; Spanish for creek
1CA5Bean source of Hershey Bars
1CA6Alligator with name similar to British Caribbean islands (George Town) (alt spelling is the same)
1CA4Clothing that helps you hide, slang abbr.
1CA6Small bird, popular as a pet, once used as a monitor for poison gas (… in a coal mine)
1CA6Leggy French dance
1CA5Tropical “lily”
1CA6Wheeled artillery
1CA5Shrewd; or soup tin adj.
1CA5Nikon rival, or accepted (Church) lore, noun
1CA6Deep gorge, from Spanish (Grand …)
1CA5Person who works in a traveling amusement (slang)
1CA5Bounce off or glance off an object or cushion
1CA5Lug around (fireman’s …), verb
1CO41st part of popular soda brand name
1CO5Hot winter drink with marshmallows, or the powder it’s made from
1CO4Prolonged unconscious state
1CO5Curly punctuation mark that separates phrases
1CO6Upper part of the sun's atmosphere
1CO8Artery that supplies the heart muscle, adj; or heart attack (informal)
1CR4Study intensely just before a test (stuff facts into your brain), or stuff into a box; verb
1CR6Small, narrow space or opening
1CR6What kids use on coloring books
1CY4Greenish-blue (ink cartridge)
1MA7French sandwich cookie
1MA8Small cake or biscuit, typically made from ground almonds, coconut or other nuts
1MA5Opposite of micro
1MA6Printed mark that indicates a long vowel; or president of France
2MA4,5♀ parent, slang
1MA7Milk-producing gland
1MA6Wealth that’s an evil influence, per the New Testament & Milton
1MA5Exodus food from the sky
1MA5Large country house with lands (Batman’s “Stately Wayne…”)
1MA4More than a few (… people are saying)
1MA6Rattle shaken in music
1MA4Old-timey schoolteacher honorific
1MA6Dark red (Adam Levine’s “… 5” band), noun; or strand on an island, verb
1MA5Wed, verb
1MA4Hellman’s sandwich spread, slang abbr.
1MA5Top city elected official
1MO5♀ parent, slang
1MO4Sound of pain or sexual pleasure (Harry Potter’s ghost “…-ing Myrtle”)
1MO9Opposite of democracy; government by one person
1MO5Eel-like predatory fish that hides in crevices
1MY4Talking starling that’s often a pet
1NA4Indiaan flaat breaad
1NA4Grandma, slang; or Peter Pan dog
1NA5♀ goat, or nursemaid
1NA4Drug cop, slang
1NA5Drug dealer, old-fashioned slang
1NA4Dialectic negation (I survived with … a scratch)
1OR4Killer “whale”
1RA7Mammal with a mask
1RA4Lively, entertaining, & mildly sexual; adj. (think car or horse speed contest)
1RA6Bitterness or resentfulness, especially when long-standing
1RA5Synthetic fabric from cellulose
1RO4Wander, or use your phone on another network
1RO4Horse with 2–colored coat
1RO4Lion “shout”
1YA4Knitting thread, or wild story

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