Bee Roots for 2023-08-29

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: T/ADEFIX
  • Words: 48
  • Points: 185
  • 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, ...)
1AT6Nerve disease or brain damage that causes slurred speech & poor muscle control
1DA4Silly, foolish (British)
1DA4Facts & stats, computer info, or Star Trek Next Gen android
2DA4,5June 12, 2021, e.g., noun; or see someone romantically, verb
2DE6,8Win a victory over someone in a battle, verb/noun
1DE4Neatly skillful, quick & clever (… footwork)
2DE5,8Natural oily or greasy substance occurring in animal bodies, noun/adj.; or (archaic) cause to have a lot of it, verb
2DI4,6Limit your food intake, verb/noun
2ED4,6Revise text
1EF6Pretentious, flowery, or weak, adj.
2EX4,6Leave, verb; the door by which you leave, noun
1FA6Natural oily or greasy substance occurring in animal bodies, noun/adj.; or (archaic) cause to have a lot of it, verb
2FA4,5Destiny, kismet, 1 of 3 Greek goddesses who determine yours
1FE4Achievement requiring great courage, skill, or strength (no easy …), noun
1FE4Soft Greek goat cheese, cubed when served
2FE4,5Honor lavishly, verb; from French for “party”
1FE5Extremely foul-smelling, adj.
1FE4What you cover with a sock
1FI4Italian car brand (part of Chrysler), formal decree, or arbitrary order
1FI6Of suitable quality (all the news that's … to print), adj.; be of the right shape and size, verb/noun
2FI6,7Attach obsessively
2ID6,7Thought or suggestion (here’s a new …), noun
1TA7Fine lustrous silk with crisp texture used for formal gowns
1TA6Make lace
1TA5Compulsory contribution to state revenue, noun/verb
2TA4,6Cab (De Niro “… Driver” film)
1TA4Group of any rank, such as a species, family, or class (biology)
1TE4Short stick that holds up a golf ball, noun/verb
1TE4Cereal grain from Ethiopia
2TE4,6Short, written message sent by a mobile phone to another one
2TI4,5Ocean ebb & flow at the beach, or laundry soap brand
1TI6Neatly arranged, adj.; or neaten up, verb
1TI4Fasten with string or cord, verb/noun
1TI4Petty quarrel, or computer image format

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