Bee Roots for 2023-09-17

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: L/ACNORT
  • Words: 59
  • Points: 271
  • Pangrams: 2
Source: Life in Norway

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, ...)
1AL9Distribute (resources) for a particular purpose
1AL5Apportion $ or other resource (time, e.g.)
1AL5Table or flat-topped block used as the focus for a religious ritual, especially for making sacrifices
1AL4Sax smaller than a tenor, or voice higher than one
1AN5Yearly record book
1AN4Opening at the end of the alimentary canal through which solid waste matter leaves the body, adj. form also means uptight
1AO6Main blood pipe from heart
1AT5Coral island (Bikini, e.g.)
1AT6Character of sound, a sound (dial or ring-); noun; give greater strength or firmness to a body or a muscle; verb
1CA4Phone, name, summon, or shout (out)
1CA5Arum plant referred to as a lily
1CA8Caribbean veg dish
1CA5Artificial waterway (Erie, Suez, Panama …)
1CA6Rapeseed oil
1CA6Relating to physical, especially sexual, needs and activities (… knowledge)
1CA5Actress Burnett with a variety show, or a Xmas song
1CA7Feline ♂ whistle or jeer at passing ♀ (compound)
1CL4Group of related (Scottish) families
1CL6Combo sex & waste cavity in non-mammals
1CL4Lump of blood that stops bleeding or circulation
1CO4“Dirty fuel” dug from mines; what Santa puts in your stocking if you’re bad
1CO4Pepsi & RC dark brown soda flavor
1CO9Irish mashed potatoes & cabbage (think large weapon that shoots balls)
1CO6Cloth or leather strip a dog or cat wears around its neck
1CO5: (punctuation mark), or intestine
2CO5,8Red, green, blue, purple, etc.
1CO4Young ♂ horse
1CO9Lowest female vocal range
1CO7Limit; or regulate; or direct, verb/noun (out of …)
2CO4,7“Warm” antonym, or “neat!”
1CO5Reef building marine invertebrates, a deep pink hue, or a sea off Australia
1CO7Small Toyota sedan, or the inner ring of flower petals
1CO7Upper part of the sun's atmosphere
1CO6Animal pen, or “O.K. …” gunfight site
1LA7Tropical perennial flowering plant in the verbena family
1LL5South American grassy plain
1LO4Borrowed $, noun/verb
1LO5From a nearby area, or a train making all stops
1LO7Find, pinpoint; GPS helps you do this
1LO4Crazy, Spanish
1LO4Hang out or droop, as a dog’s tongue
1LO4“Crazy” water bird on Canada $1 coin
1LO4Pirate treasure, noun; or to steal during a riot, verb
1LO5State-sponsored numbers betting ticket (Powerball, e.g.)
1NA5Latin adj. relating to place or time of birth
1NO8From a nearby area, or a train making all stops
1OC5Base–8 number system
1OR4Spoken (… exam), or by mouth (… surgery), adjective
1RO4What you do to dice, verb; or Tootsie candy & small bread format, noun
1TA4Mineral in baby powder
1TA4Of greater than average height, adj.
1TA5A bird of prey's claw
1TO4Road use fee (paid at a booth)
1TO5Character of sound, a sound (dial or ring-); noun; give greater strength or firmness to a body or a muscle; verb
1TO4An implement (hammer & screwdriver, e.g.); often stored in a …box
1TO5The whole amount (sum of numbers, e.g.)
1TR5Monster who lives under a bridge, or online forum troublemaker

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