Bee Roots for 2023-09-12

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/GINOPV
  • Words: 44
  • Points: 264
  • Pangrams: 1
Source: KegWorks

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, ...)
2IG8,8Catch fire, or cause to do so
1IN5Bar of precious metal
1IN4Enter (go … the room), preposition
1IN8Recite with little rise & fall of pitch (the minister …-ed the prayer)
1IN8Ask someone to a party
1NO6What you pass to someone in class, or ♪ in music
1NO6Vague idea, or small sewing accessory
1NO9What you do on Election Day, noun/verb
1ON4Preposition when mounting an animal or boarding a large vehicle
1OP6Make a choice from a range of possibilities (he …ed for the red one)
1PI5Wine grape variety
2PI8,11Locate exactly, or sharp end of sewing fastener, compound
1PI416 fluid oz., or typical UK beer serving
1PI5Type of bean, horse, or Ford car
1PI5Ground-dwelling bird that wags its tail & is named for its song
1PI7Large hole in the ground, noun; set someone in competition against, verb
1PI5Rock-climbing spike
2PI5,8Central point of a turn, noun/verb, gerund form is a pangram
2PO5,8Indicate with finger, or end of sharp object
1PO7Temp floating bridge; or cylinder full of air, two of which keep a type of slow boat afloat
1PO7Large container for cooking (…s and pans); or container for growing plants, noun/verb; or marijuana, slang
1PO6Witch or mad scientist concoction; “love,” e.g.
1TI7Color slightly (…ed with pink), verb/noun
2TI4,7Shade of color, noun; or darken car windows, verb
1TI7The end of a pointed thing, noun; money given for good service, noun/verb
1TI6Rhyming compound adj. that means “of the very best quality” (in … condition), compound
1TO7Clothes (informal, usually plural), noun; or get dressed up, verb
1TO6Character of sound, a sound (dial or ring-); noun; give greater strength or firmness to a body or a muscle; verb
2TO4,7Chinese mafia, or BBQ grabber if plural (or used as a verb)
1TO4Animated film or character, slang abbr. (car…)
2TO4,7Short horn sound; noun/verb
1TO7Opposite of bottom
1TO6Small grayish slender-bodied shark, or mango tree grove, noun; or archaic term for drink alcohol to excess, verb; homophone of grayish-brown color
1TO6Reusable bag, noun; or schlep, verb
1VO6What you do on Election Day, noun/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