Bee Roots for 2023-08-14

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: E/BGMNOY
  • Words: 31
  • Points: 109
  • 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, ...)
1BE4Past participle of “to exist” (“How have you … doing?”)
1BE6Archaic “shoo!”; compound exclamation; ends in list word
1BE5Precious or semiprecious stone
1BO5Nickname of “Casablanca” ♂ lead, or 1 over par in golf
1BO8Imaginary spirits used to frighten kids, compound pangram; ends in ♂ plural
1BO5Frozen dome-shaped dessert
1BO4Skeleton part, or what dogs chew & bury; study intensely
1BY6Belonging to an earlier era, adj.; or a past occurrence, usually-plural noun
2EB4,5Black, poetic; and/or black wood (“… & Ivory”)
1EG4What baby birds hatch from
1EG6Creamy Xmas drink with nutmeg & rum
1EN4Short form of non-binary or non-black
1EN5Wartime foe
1GE4DNA sequence that determines traits, or singing cowboy Autry
1GE6Complete set of chromosomes in a cell
1GN5Garden ornament of bearded ♂ with pointy hat
1GO4Away, out of, past; adj. (“… Girl” film with Affleck)
1GO5Sticky or slimy substance
1ME4Viral internet funny image, noun/verb
1ME4Office note abbr.
1MO5$, cash
1MO8♂ financier, compound made from cash + ♂
1NE4Hawaiian goose & state bird
1NE4Atomic number 10, gas in lighted signs
1NO4Quantity of zero; “all” antonym
1OB4Heed, verb (unlike a cat, a well-trained dog will … commands to “stay” & “sit”)
1OB4Double reed orchestra-tuning instrument
1OG4S–shaped line or molding, noun; or having a double continuous S–shaped curve, adj.
1OM4Portent, or Damien’s horror films (“The …”)
1YE6♂ royal servant or guard (the plural form is in Gilbert & Sullivan’s “The … of the Guard")

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