Bee Roots for 2023-08-01

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: U/CDEILN
  • Words: 54
  • Points: 278
  • 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, ...)
1CE7Prison “room,” or smallest unit of an organism
2CL4,5Hint, or what a detective seeks (Get a …!), noun/verb
2CU6,7Hold close for affection
1CU4Something that signals an actor or other performer, noun/verb
2CU4,6Remove unwanted from the herd
2DE6,7Draw a logical conclusion
2DE6,7Believe true even when you know better
1DE5A playing card with the number 2 on it (the … of spades), noun
2DE6,7Unclothed (in the …), adj.
2DU4,5Slang for “guy” (Aerosmith “… Looks Like a Lady”), noun; dress up elaborately, verb
2DU4,6Pistol fight at dawn
2DU4,6Not shiny, adjective/verb
1DU6Make persistent demands, verb; Dull grayish-brown color, noun/adjective
1DU5Stupid person (he has to sit in the corner & wear a … cap)
1DU4A mound of sand (… buggy), or Herbert desert planet book series & films
2ED5,6Formal verb meaning to draw out something hidden
2EL5,6Dodge, or fail to be grasped
2EN5,6Provide with a quality or ability
1EN5World weariness (French)
2IN7,8Contain; or make part of something (the room charge …s breakfast)
2IN6,7Cause labor to start (medical); persuade or influence someone to do something
1LE7One of the nine essential amino acids
1LI4In place of (in … of flowers)
1LU5Expressed clearly; easy to understand
2LU4,6Soothe (… 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 …”)
2NU6,7The central structure in an atom or cell
2NU4,5Unclothed (in the …), adj.
1NU4Having no legal or binding force; invalid
1UN7Give up (power or territory)
1UN9Make up one’s mind
1UN5Perform an action, achieve or complete something; hairstyle (American slang); social event (British slang)
1UN5Expected at or planned for at a certain time; what is owed
1UN7A queue, what you wait in for your turn
1UN8Require; verb/noun
1UN5Parent’s brother (… Sam)

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