Bee Roots for 2023-09-13

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: A/EHMPTY
  • Words: 48
  • Points: 169
  • 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, ...)
1AH4Throat-clearing, attention-getting sound
1AT7Make an effort to achieve or complete something, verb/noun
2EM6,7Ability to sense and share the feelings of another
1HA5Meat from a pig, often served on holidays
1HA6Wedge-shaped carpal bone
1HA5Pleased (“Don’t worry, be …”)
1HA4Dislike intensely, verb/noun
1HA4Archaic 3rd person singular present form of "possess" (Hell … no fury)
1HA5Yoga type that pairs poses with breathing
1HE4Stack in a disorderly pile, verb/noun
1HE4Warm up in the oven, verb; or extreme warmth, noun
1HE5Candy bar with toffee & milk chocolate, actor Ledger, or British field
1MA7Indian honorific (… Gahdhi), or rice brand
2MA4,5♀ parent, slang
2MA4,5Fellow member (cast-…) or joint occupant (room-…)
1MA4Addition/subtraction/multiplication/division subject abbr.
1MA5Dull finish on paint or photos
1MA6Chaos, disorder, havoc (complete & utter …)
2ME4,5Animal flesh for consumption (beef, ham, etc.)
1ME4Beyond prefix, greek
1PA5S Am treeless grassland
1PA4Father, slang
1PA6Tropical fruit with black seeds
1PA5Slang term for father or grandfather
1PA4Chopped liver (… de foie gras) or other spréâd (French), or archaic for a person’s head
1PA4Walking or bike trail
1PA5Peppermint candy (& friend of Marcie in “Peanuts”) or burger form
1PA5Give $ in exchange for goods or services, verb/noun
2PE4,5Fuel from bog soil, NOT Secretary Buttigieg
1PH4“Excellent” in hip-hop slang, NOT obese
1TA4Not wild, adj./verb
1TA4Pack down (start of Florida city on a bay)
1TA4Spanish bar snack (usually plural)
1TA4Adhesive strip
1TA5Worn & shabby, or of poor quality; Scottish
1TE4Group of sports players (Yankees, e.g.), noun; … up, verb
1TE8A fellow player in the same group, compound
1TH4Pronoun for the other thing (this & …)
1TH58th Greek letter, Θ
1YA5Sharp, shrill bark; slang term for a person's mouth; Pacific island with giant coins
1YE4Informal affirmative reply

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