Bee Roots for 2023-08-26

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/DEMNPU
  • Words: 55
  • Points: 248
  • Pangrams: 1
Source: Amusing Planet

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, ...)
1DE4Michael’s computer company, or farmer locale in kid’s song
2DE6,7Believe true even when you know better
2DU4,6Pistol fight at dawn
2DU4,6Not shiny, adjective/verb
1DU5In music, rhythm based on two main beats to the measure
2EL5,6Dodge, or fail to be grasped
1LE4Summary opening sentence or paragraph of a news article (bury the …); NOT "follow" antonym
1LE4Allow someone to borrow from you (“Friends, Romans, Countrymen, … me your ears”)
2LU4,6Soothe (… into a false sense of security), verb; or a pause in activity, noun
1LU4Doozy, or “To Sir With Love” singer
1LU5Measure of light output, noun
2LU4,6What you get on your head after being struck, noun + adj. (unstirred cake batter, e.g.) (2 words)
1LU4Moon, French (Debussy’s “Clair de …”)
2ME6,7Interfere without the right to do so (don’t … in my affairs!)
2ME4,6Combine (Vulcan mind …)
1ME5Confusing scuffle
2MU6,7Bring into a disordered or confused state, or cope (… through) despite lack of experience, planning, or equipment; starts with wet dirt
1MU4Pack animal that’s an offspring of a ♂ donkey & ♀ horse; or a backless shoe
2MU4,6Think over, heat cider or wine, verb; or actor Martin
2NE6,7Tool to sew, noun; or goad, verb
1NU4Having no legal or binding force; invalid
2PE6,7Travel from town to town, especially with a carnival or circus, to sell things; Santa looked like someone who does this, just opening his pack
2PE4,6Skin of a fruit, noun; or to remove it, verb
1PE8The thing that swings inside a grandfather clock; or any free-swinging weight attached to a fixed point (Foucault …), pangram
1PE6Short section attached to the waistline of a blouse, jacket, or dress
1PL4Make an emotional appeal
1PL4Juicy fruit; when dry it’s a prune
2PL5,6Long soft feather
2PL5,7Polite way of saying “fat”
2PU6,7Small pool of rainwater on the ground, noun/verb
2PU4,5Literary for “whimper” (usually ends in –ING)
2PU4,6Tug on, verb
2PU4,6Soft, wet, shapeless mass (“… Fiction” film), or floating bits of fruit in orange juice, noun/verb
2PU6,8Hit repeatedly
1UN8Skin of a fruit, noun; or to remove it, verb

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