Bee Roots for 2023-09-11

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: O/CGILRW
  • Words: 36
  • Points: 121
  • 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, ...)
1CL4Reason to use Drāno, or wooden shoe, or a type of dancing
1CO5Spherical or nearly spherical bacterium
1CO4Wind up spirally, or Hamlet’s “mortal …”
1CO4Fiber from the outer husk of the coconut, used for making ropes & matting
1CO5Baby or horse upset tummy
1CO5Red, green, blue, purple, etc.
1CO4“Warm” antonym, or “neat!”
1CO5Queen Elizabeth II’s preferred small Welsh dog breed
1CO7A woman who herds and tends cattle, usually on horseback (pangram)
1CO4Hood for a monk or superhero
1CR4Holey shoe, or alligator relative abbr.
1CR5Small plant that blooms early in spring
1CR4Stupid word, not in Merriam-Webster, which might mean ride on a bike as a passenger, or "carefully researched blog" - rhymes with frog
1CR4Large bird with mostly glossy black plumage, a heavy bill, and a raucous voice; or what you are said to eat when ashamed of being proven wrong (slang)
1GI6Male escort; Richard Gere “American …” film
1GL4Incandescence or luminescence, noun/verb
1GO6Large number (10¹⁰⁰), NOT a web search site
1GR4Watered-down (nautical) rum
1GR4Get bigger (kid, plant)
1GR5Make a low guttural sound in the throat, verb/noun
1IG5Ice house
1IL7Thinking that is rational
1LO4Crazy, Spanish
1LO4A particular point or place
1LO5Thinking that is rational
1LO4Company graphic symbol; Target’s is a red bullseye ◎
1LO7Balance competition with timber in water, compound
1LO4Hang out or droop, as a dog’s tongue
1OL4Mixture, or spicy Spanish stew, NOT margarine
1RI5Thoroughness or stiffness (… mortis)
1RO6Ornamental decorative style from the late Baroque
1RO4Stir up mud or trouble (…ed the waters)
1RO4What you do to dice, verb; or Tootsie candy & small bread format, noun
1WI5Expressing agreement, especially acceptance of instructions received by radio
1WI6“Weeping” tree, or 1988 Val Kilmer fantasy film
1WO4Warm, itchy knitted fabric made from sheep hair, noun/adj.

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