Bee Roots for 2023-08-24

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: R/ACHIMT
  • Words: 49
  • Points: 237
  • 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, ...)
1AR4Curved span
1AR7No longer in use (words, e.g.), adj.
1AR6North Pole adj. (… Circle or Ocean)
1AR5Buddhist who has achieved nirvana; ends in “cap” synonym
1AR4Opera solo
1AR8Upholstered seat with side supports; compound
1AR9Swelling and tenderness of one or more joints
1AT5Large open-air or skylight covered space surrounded by a building, common in ancient Roman houses; an upper cavity of the heart
1AT5Flower oil for perfume
1AT7Entice, lure, or evoke (… attention; opposites …), verb
1CA5Unit of weight for gems, NOT bunny food
1CA4Shopping trolley you push
1CA8Eye cloudiness, or waterfall
1CA7Excessive buildup of mucus; sounds like feline + pirate sound; has double R
1CA9The process of releasing, and thereby providing relief from, strong or repressed emotions
1CH5Furniture for sitting
1CH4Partially burn & blacken, verb; or trout-like fish
1CH5Delight, verb; or trinket (lucky …), noun
1CH5Nautical map, or pictorial data representation (pie, bar …)
1CI5“Around” when used before a year, Latin
1CI5Cloud forming wispy streaks (“mare's tails”) at high altitude
1CI6Tree genus that includes lemon, lime, orange, and grapefruit, or the fruit of those trees
1CR4Study intensely just before a test (stuff facts into your brain), or stuff into a box; verb
1CR6Fault-finder (“everyone’s a …”), or arts & dining reviewer
1HA4“Age of Aquarius” ‘60s nude hippie rock musical, or what grows on your scalp
1HA8Fatal flaw leading to the downfall of a tragic hero or heroine
1HA5Forbidden by Islamic law
1HA4Physical injury, especially if deliberately inflicted, noun/verb
1HA4♂ deer, not ♥
1MA6Rattle shaken in music
1MA5Month that sounds like what an army does
1MA8Mexican folk music
1MA4Old-timey schoolteacher honorific
1MA4Store (K–, Wal–)
1MA9♀ head of a family or tribe, pangram
1MI5Amusement, especially laughter
1RA5Indian yogurt veg dip
1RA7Machine gun sound
1RI4Wealthy, adj.
1TA6Japanese rich, naturally fermented soy sauce
1TA6Airport runway area
1TA4Open filled pastry, noun; or sharp taste, adj.
1TA6Fish sauce, or tooth buildup
1TI5Jeweled, ornamental ½ crown
1TR5Large land area, or body passage (“digestive …”)
1TR5Characteristic, often genetically determined (left-handedness, e.g.)
1TR4People mover in Disney parks, parking lots, & cities
1TR7Single unit of a public transit vehicle, compound noun
1TR4Neaten (hair) by snipping off ends

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