Bee Roots for 2023-09-04

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: M/ACEHKT
  • Words: 33
  • Points: 116
  • Pangrams: 2
Source: Shropshire Star

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, ...)
1AC4Peak; or where Wile E. Coyote orders his supplies
1AH4Throat-clearing, attention-getting sound
1CA4Travel toward a particular place, tell your dog to move toward you, or slang for “to orgasm”
1CH9Chess player's goal, compound pangram
1EM5Master of Ceremonies (sounded-out initials), slang noun/verb
1HA6Wedge-shaped carpal bone
1HE4Iron-containing biological compound (in blood, e.g.)
1MA4Self-defense pepper spray, staff, or spice from a nutmeg
1MA7Long knife for cutting brush
1MA7Indian honorific (… Gahdhi), or rice brand
1MA4Assemble (Please … dinner tonight; I’m too tired) or force (Oh yeah? … me!), verb
2MA4,5♀ parent, slang
1MA5Tennis or boxing contest, noun; or agree in color (does my tie … my shirt?), verb
1MA6Ground Japanese green tea leaves; also flavors sweets
1MA9Bring about a marriage, especially by scheming
1MA4Fellow member (cast-…) or joint occupant (room-…)
1MA4Addition/subtraction/multiplication/division subject abbr.
1MA5Dull finish on paint or photos
1ME4Animal flesh for consumption (beef, ham, etc.)
1ME5Holiest city in Islam, or place of attraction (shopping …)
1ME4Submissive (“Blessed are the …, for they shall inherit the earth”), adj.
1ME4Encounter (I’m supposed to … him in the park)
1ME4Viral internet funny image, noun/verb
1ME4Beyond prefix, greek
1ME4Dispense justice (“… out punishment”), homophone of “animal flesh for consumption”
1ME4Slang abbr. of addictive stimulant (crystal …)
1TA4Not wild, adj./verb
1TE4Group of sports players (Yankees, e.g.), noun; … up, verb
1TE8A fellow player in the same group, compound
1TE4Be full or swarming with; homophone of Yankees group
1TH4Pronoun for people you previously mentioned (I bathed the kids & put … to bed)
1TH5Subject of a talk, or an idea that recurs in a work of art, noun (and rarely, verb - gerund is a pangram)

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