Bee Roots for 2023-08-05

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: W/DEHNOY
  • Words: 33
  • Points: 142
  • 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, ...)
1DE4Tiny drops of water that form on cool surfaces at night
1DO5Frumpy, adj.
3DO4,5,6↓ elevator button you push to go to the lobby from a higher floor; or soft feathers that keep ducks warm
2EN5,7Bequeath $, or given by "…ed by their Creator with unalienable rights"
2HE4,5Chop or cut (something, especially wood or coal) with a tool such as an axe
1HO7Social gathering with lively folk dancing, compound
1HO8Melon with smooth pale skin and sweet green flesh, compound pangram
1HO5Informal hello, especially associated with the American west; or the first half of the name of a 1950's children's TV puppet
1NO5Used, especially in jocular or dialectal speech, to emphasize a negative, compound
1OW4Have an obligation to pay or repay
1OW5Possess, verb; or something that belongs to you, pronoun (I got QB on my …)
3WE4,5,6Unwanted plant, noun, or remove them from the garden, verb
1WE5Extremely small, often paired with teeny
2WE4,6Go, in a non-linear route; meander; (of person, river, path)
1WH4Exclamation of excitement on a sled or playground slide
1WH4At what time?
1WH4Exclamation of relief after a close call (said as you wipe your brow)
1WH4Watery part of milk that remains after the formation of curds
1WO5Seek the favor or support of someone; or try to convince someone to marry you
4WO4,5,6,6Forest (Pooh’s “100 acre …”) or tree flesh, noun
1WO6Rhyming exclamation of excitement or joy (Homer Simpson)
1WO5Exclamanation expressing astonishment or admiration; or greatly impress someone, verb

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