Bee Roots for 2023-08-21

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: I/DEMNOX
  • Words: 44
  • Points: 205
  • 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, ...)
1DE9People considered to be on the fringes of respectable society (from French)
1DE5What jeans are made of
1DE6Refuse to give, grant or admit
1DI4Cease to live
1DI6Faintly lit, adjective/verb
1DI4Coin worth 10 cents
2DI4,5Eat at a restaurant
1DI4Flintstones pet, or T. Rex family abbr.
1DI51–way semiconductor with 2 terminals
1DI7Binary compound of element O with another element or group (rust is iron …)
1DO8Sovereign authority over a country or people (Canada was a … from 1867 to 1951)
1DO6Spotted playing tile (“bones”)
1ED6Water swirl, NOT clothier Bauer
1ID5Slang phrase particular to a language (“raining cats & dogs”), noun
1IN6Truly; used to emphasize & confirm previous statement (sometimes follows “yes”), compound
2IN5,7Alphabetical reference in the back of a nonfiction book, or pointer finger; noun/verb + past/adj.
1IN5Unaffiliated with a major studio, slang abbr. (film or music, e.g.)
1IN5Concave belly button, slang
1IO6Compound made with element 53
1IO6Element 53, stored in thyroid, added to table salt, used to treat cuts
1MI4Computer music protocol, calf-length skirt, or noon in French
1MI4A person’s look or expression, NOT an average
2MI4,5Silent performer
1MI5Old stencil duplicator, abbr. (missing –graph suffix)
2MI4,6Intention (I changed my …), noun; or dislike (I don’t … a little rain) or heed (… your manners), verb
2MI4,5Where you dig for ore, or anti-ship bomb
1MI4Smaller version (as in Cooper car), slang abbr.
1MI51/60 dram, UK music ½ note, or calligraphy short vertical stroke
1MI6Underling, as seen in “Despicable Me”
1MI4“Saucy little” tease, humorous insult
1MI5Combine or blend, verb/noun; or mingle, verb
1MO6$, cash
1MO5Force of character, determination, or nerve (informal)
1MO8Binary compound of element O with another element or group (rust is iron …)
1NI4Number of justices on Supreme Court
1NI5Express denial or refusal; put an end to
1NO7Propose a candidate for election or an honor
1ON5Veg that makes you cry when cut (for some, this is the "dreaded root veg")
1OX5Binary compound of element O with another element or group (rust is iron …)

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