Bee Roots for 2023-07-27

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/ENOUVY
  • Words: 36
  • Points: 145
  • 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, ...)
1EE4Snake-like fish
1EL6Hour before noon
1EV6Number that can be divided by 2 without a remainder, or flat & smooth; adj.; or to make or become that (… out the edges)
1EV6Develop gradually (Darwin said that humans and apes …ed from a common ancestor), verb
1LE5River embankment to prevent flooding
2LE5,7Flat, adj.; or straightening tool with bubble, noun
1LE4Impose a tax, homophone of embankment above, verb
1LO4Hang out or droop, as a dog’s tongue
2LO4,6Solitary (… wolf, e.g.), adj.
2LO4,5“Crazy” water bird on Canada $1 coin
2LO4,5The ♥ in I♥NY, or “zero” in tennis
1LO6Exquisitely beautiful, adj./noun
1LU4Soothe (… into a false sense of security), verb; or a pause in activity, noun
1LU4Doozy, or “To Sir With Love” singer
1LU4Moon, French (Debussy’s “Clair de …”)
1NO4Xmas time, or playwright Coward
1NO8New French cooking style
2NO5,7Book of fiction (romance, mystery), noun; or “new” (… idea), adj.
1NU4Having no legal or binding force; invalid
1NY5Synthetic stocking fabric
1ON4Sole, nothing more (“I’m … human!”)
1OV5Part of the ovary of seed plants that contains the female germ cell
1UN8Number that can be divided by 2 without a remainder, or flat & smooth; adj.; or to make or become that (… out the edges)
1UN7Flat, adj.; or straightening tool with bubble, noun
1UN8Exquisitely beautiful, adj./noun
1VE6Very small body tube that returns blood to the heart from capillaries
1VO4Small burrowing rodent AKA field mouse
1VO6A set of bullets or arrows discharged at the same time, noun; or strike or kick a ball before it touches the ground, verb
1YE4Shout (Billy Idol’s “Rebel …”)
1YU4Pagan winter solstice festival

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