Bee Roots for 2023-08-25

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: B/EGILNT
  • Words: 59
  • Points: 367
  • Pangrams: 4

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, ...)
1BE7Straight, direct course between 2 points, compound (think this puzzle’s name)
1BE4Past participle of “to exist” (“How have you … doing?”)
1BE4Borscht veg
1BE6VW compact car, or winged insect (scarab, e.g.)
2BE5,9Father, verb (archaic, Biblical)
2BE5,9Start, verb (also former Israeli PM)
1BE5Pale sandy yellowish-brown color
1BE7French doughnut
2BE4,7It rings
1BE5Southern pretty ♀ (Scarlett O'Hara, e.g.)
2BE4,7It holds your pants up
1BE8Imaginary band around waist, or railway or road around a city, compound
1BE4Shape into a curve, or Oregon city
1BE6Med. term for “not harmful” (… tumor)
1BE5Nut that Bloody Mary chews in “South Pacific”; AKA areca nut
1BE5Be in a horizontal resting position, or say something false
2BE8,10Small (Stuart or Chicken …), adj.
1BI5Holy book (starts with Genesis)
1BI6Opposite of small
1BI4Liver secretion, or anger
1BI5Part of a ship's hull where the bottom curves to meet the vertical sides
2BI4,7Invoice, or actor Murray, noun/verb
2BI6,9Temp soldier lodging
1BI7Receptacle for storing a specified substance, noun/verb; trash can (British)
3BI5,7,8Overindulge (…-watch Netflix); verb/noun
3BI4,6,6Use teeth to cut into food (take a … out of the apple)
2BL4,5Russian pancake
1BL5Flashy jewelry (think rappers), noun
1EB6Recede, especially in reference to the tide
1EL8Be a candidate for something; or satisfy the conditions for something (… bachelor)
2GI4,6Insulting or mocking remark, noun/verb
1GI6Liver, heart, gizzard, and neck of a chicken or other fowl, often used to make gravy
1GL4Insincere & shallow
1IL9You can read it
1IN10Be a candidate for something; or satisfy the conditions for something (… bachelor)
1IN12Can be understood, adj.
1LE7You can read it
3LI5,7,8Printed slander, noun
1NE10Can be ignored, adj.
2NI6,8Small, tentative chew, verb; or a snack, noun

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