Bee Roots for 2023-08-06

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/ADGHIN
  • Words: 57
  • Points: 305
  • 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, ...)
1AD7Confuse, muddle
1AI6Be sick
2AL4,5Pond scum
2AL5,8Sync up positionally (… the 2 holes so you can put a screw through them)
1AN7They can be acute, right, or obtuse
1AN5Yearly record book
1AN4Opening at the end of the alimentary canal through which solid waste matter leaves the body, adj. form also means uptight
1DA6Mexican & Central Am. flowering plant (“Black …” 2006 de Palma film noir)
1DA8Hang or swing loosely
2DI4,7What you turn on a rotary phone or radio knob
1DI8Pass time aimlessly or unproductively
1DI4Pickle spice
1GA4Formal ball or fundraiser (The Met …, e.g.)
1GA8Asian plant of the ginger family, widely used in cooking and medicine
2GA4,7Liver secretion, or bold behavior
1GA8The world of criminal groups
1GA8Lanky & bumbling; gerund (think a newborn foal trying to stand; starts with a group of thugs such as the Crips; the more common term ends in –LY)
1GA7Nerve cluster
1GI8Silly laugh; verb/noun
2GI4,7Coat with element Au, atomic no. 79
2GI4,7Fish breathing organ
1GL4Pleased, delighted
1GL5Organ in the body that secretes chemicals
1GL4Nervous system connective tissue “cell,” (anagram of venomous lizard “monster”)
1GL7What an engineless plane does (hanging optional), or dental floss brand
1HA8Dispute or bargain persistently, especially over the cost of something
2HA4,7Frozen rain “stone,” noun; or summon a taxi, verb
1HA5Kosher in Islam
1HA4Corridor, or Let’s Make a Deal’s Monty
1HA8Manage a situation, verb; something you pull to open a drawer, or something you hold to carry a suitcase, noun
1HA8Tiny, torn skin on your fingertip, compound
1HI8Mountainous region, esp. north of Glasgow, compound pangram
2HI4,7What Jack & Jill went up
1ID6Not doing anything; or, said of an engine, running but in gear
1IN8The phase of breathing that expands your chest
1IN6Not on the coast
1IN6Decorate something by embedding pieces of a different material in it, flush with its surface
1LA6Load cargo (root is archaic, derivatives are still in use)
1LA7Long-handled utensil for serving soup
1LA7Fall behind, verb/noun
1LA5Hawaiian island or porch
2LA4,7Alight on the ground, verb/noun
2LA4,4Put something down
1LI6A queue, what you wait in for your turn
2NA4,7Spike that’s hammered, noun/verb
1NI8Cause slight but persistent annoyance or worry (a …ing suspicion or doubt)

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