Bee Roots for 2023-07-22

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: E/CHKLMO
  • Words: 34
  • Points: 109
  • 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, ...)
1CE4Prison “room,” or smallest unit of an organism
1CE5Yo-Yo Ma’s instrument (also Pablo Casals')
1CH5Bank draft, noun; or verify, verb
1CH5Side of your face, noun; or sass (British)
1CH5Cancer treatment with poison, slang abbr.
1CH5Strangle someone, or get food down your windpipe; verb
1CL6Bell in French, or bell-shaped hat
1CO6Edible bivalve marine mollusk with a pretty shell, or slang for your core (it warms the …s of my heart)
1CO4Pepsi rival; or fuel made by heating coal in the absence of air; or slang abbr. for drug people snort
1CO4Travel toward a particular place, tell your dog to move toward you, or slang for “to orgasm”
1EC4Reflection of a sound, reverberation, noun/verb
1EM5Master of Ceremonies (sounded-out initials), slang noun/verb
1HE4Mild cuss (“… of a job, Brownie!”), euphemism for Satan’s domain
1HE6Interrupt a public speaker with insults
1HE4Back of your foot (Achilles’ weakness), noun; or (of a dog) follow closely
1HE4Satan’s domain
1HE8Satan’s pit; an oppressive or unbearable place; compound noun
1HE5Phone greeting
1HE4Ship steering wheel, steer a ship, or Medieval protective hat
1HE4Iron-containing biological compound (in blood, e.g.)
1HE7Poison from a plant that Socrates was forced to drink, pangram
1HO4Golf ball target (get a …-in-one), noun/verb
1HO4Where you live
1KE4Bottom stabilizing ridge of a boat or ship, noun; or capsize, verb
1LE4Womanizer, derogatory slang abbr., or former Polish president Wałęsa
1LE5Bloodsucking worm, noun; habitually exploit or rely on, verb
1LE4Veg similar to onion; homophone of place where water escapes a pipe
1ME4Submissive (“Blessed are the …, for they shall inherit the earth”), adj.
1ME5Confusing scuffle
1ME4Viral internet funny image, noun/verb
1ME4Office note abbr.
1MO5Bris snipper (ouch!)
1MO4Burrowing blind rodent, or embedded spy

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