Bee Roots for 2023-07-31

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: C/AGINRY
  • Words: 40
  • Points: 212
  • 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, ...)
1AC6African or Australian wattle tree
1AC4Trendy smoothie berry
1AC5Get a top grade on a test
1AR6Part of the circumference of a circle or other curve, noun; or electric discharge between electrodes, noun; move with a curving trajectory, verb
1AR61 of 2 classes in a tarot pack (major & minor), a mystery or deep secret, or specialized knowledge, noun
1AR6Yellow daisy used to treat bruises
1CA6Barred enclosure, or actor Nicolas
1CA4Reluctant to give information because of caution or suspicion, adj.
1CA5Pile of commemorative stones, or terrier (dog) breed
1CA7Cylindrical metal container, noun; be capable, verb, fire from a job (slang verb)
1CA6Small bird, popular as a pet, once used as a monitor for poison gas (… in a coal mine)
1CA6Leggy French dance
1CA6Walking stick, or striped peppermint Xmas crook
1CA5Tropical “lily”
1CA5Shrewd; or soup tin adj.
1CA6Feel concern or interest, verb/noun
1CA5Person who works in a traveling amusement (slang)
2CA5,8Lug around (fireman’s …), verb
1CI5“Around” when used before a year, Latin
1CI5Cloud forming wispy streaks (“mare's tails”) at high altitude
2CR4,6Steep or rugged cliff or rock face, Celtic
1CR7Large, tall machine used for moving heavy objects, noun; stretch out one's body or neck in order to see something, verb
1CR6Scientific name for skull
1CR6Small, narrow space or opening
2CR6,8Bend the head and/or body in fear or in a servile manner
1CR6Shed tears; shout or scream; verb/noun
1CY4Greenish-blue (ink cartridge)
1CY5Doubter, pessimist
1GR7Simple elegance or refinement of movement, noun; Honor someone with your presence, verb
1IC5Frozen water
1NA4Drug cop, slang
1NI6Vitamin B3
1RA6Grouping of people based on shared physical characteristics (regardless of …, creed, or color)
1RA4Lively, entertaining, & mildly sexual; adj. (think car or horse speed contest)
1RI6Swamp grass which is widely cultivated as a source of food, especially in Asia, noun; or force cooked potatoes or other vegetables through a sieve, verb
1RI5Poison from castor beans, NOT a pilaf grain

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