Bee Roots for 2023-08-02

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: T/ABCEJL
  • Words: 51
  • Points: 242
  • 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, ...)
1AB5Become less intense (the storm suddenly …d)
2AB4,7Help commit a crime
1AB6The worst possible, adj. (… poverty)
1AB6Remove (body tissue) surgically, verb
2AC6,7Vinegar adj., or acid it contains
1BA6Artistic dance form (“Swan Lake,” e.g.)
1BA4(Of a hawk) flap wings to escape, homophone of worm on a fish hook
1BA6Sustained fight between armed forces (… of the Bulge), noun/verb
2BE4,8Stir or strike vigorously, or trounce in a contest
1BE4Borscht veg
1BE6VW compact car, or winged insect (scarab, e.g.)
1BE4It holds your pants up
1BE42nd Greek letter, ß
1BE5Nut that Bloody Mary chews in “South Pacific”; AKA areca nut
1BE6Running behind (I’m … for class), or deceased (The … Charles Grodin)
1BL4Make a sound like a sheep, goat, or calf; slang
1BL5More common term for wavering cry
1CA7Feline ♂ whistle or jeer at passing ♀ (compound)
1CA6Cows & bulls (…prod)
1CL5Spike on sports shoes
1EA7Consume food
1EC5Stylé, brilliancé, conspicuous succéss; Frénch for “splintér” or “sparklé”
3EJ5,6,9Force or throw something out; escape from a disabled fighter plane
1EL5Make someone ecstatically happy, verb
3EL5,7,9Vote into office
1JE4Ballet jump (French)
1LA7Produce milk, verb (breastfeed a baby)
1LA7Capillary that absorbs fat in the small intestine
1LA4Running behind (I’m … for class), or deceased (The … Charles Grodin)
1LA5Coffee with espresso & steamed milk
1TA5Indian small drum pair; NOT dining room furniture
1TA5A piece of furniture with a flat top & legs (kitchen, dining room, coffee…)
1TA6Flat slab with writing (the 10 commandments?), medicine pill, or portable touchscreen computer (iPad, Kindle Fire)
1TA5Musical direction meaning “silent”
1TA4Diplomacy, sensitivity
1TA4Mineral in baby powder
1TA4Story (fairy…), NOT what dogs wag; noun
1TA4Of greater than average height, adj.
1TA6Rat out your sibling to your parents
1TA10Someone who rats out a sibling (compound)
1TE4Blue-green color, or a duck with a stripe of that color
1TE4Inform, verb; or Swiss archer William with an overture
1TE8Revealing, compound adj.; or indication, compound noun (Poe’s “The … Heart”)

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