Bee Roots for 2023-09-14

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: W/BDEFLO
  • Words: 48
  • Points: 220
  • Pangrams: 1
Source: EmergeOrtho

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, ...)
1BE9Person who shares sleep furniture with another; or a person or thing allied or closely connected with another ("the treaty will make strange …s of a number of enemies"), pangram noun
2BE6,8Make a roaring shout; singular of “I Dream of Jeannie” doc
1BE5Underneath (“Look out …!”)
2BE5,7Tiny drops of water that form on cool surfaces at night
2BL4,4What the wind does, or what you do to extinguish birthday candles
1BO5Bend at the waist, especially to acknowledge applause, verb/noun
1BO5(Usually plural) intestine, or the deepest area of something
2BO4,6Dish for cereal & soup, noun; or trying to knock down pins in an alley
1BO6Rhyming compound bark of a cartoon dog
1DO5Connecting or supporting peg or rod
1DW5Boring, studious, or socially inept person
2DW5,7Reside at, or linger over a worry
2EL5,7Arm joint, or macaroni shape
1FE6Man or boy, noun/adj.
2FL4,6Movement of water in a current
1FL4What airplanes and most birds can do, verb; or common insect, noun; or go high in the air (baseball noun/verb)
2FO6,8Come after or behind (an event or person)
1FO4Domestic game birds, not an unfair act in soccer
1LE4Obscene (behavior, usually)
1LO5Opposite of high; sound made by cattle
1OW4Have an obligation to pay or repay
1WE6What a spider spins, noun; or structured similarly to what a spider spins (ducks have …ed feet)
2WE4,6Unwanted plant, noun, or remove them from the garden, verb
2WE4,6Join metal with a blowtorch
2WE4,6Hole in the ground you draw water from
2WO6,7Teeter, as an uneven table
2WO4,6Wild cousin of dogs that travels in packs, noun; or devour hungrily, verb
1WO5Seek the favor or support of someone; or try to convince someone to marry you
2WO4,6Forest (Pooh’s “100 acre …”) or tree flesh, noun
2WO4,6What a dog says
1WO4Warm, itchy knitted fabric made from sheep hair, noun/adj.
1WO5Exclamanation expressing astonishment or admiration; or greatly impress someone, 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