Bee Roots for 2023-09-21

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: I/AMNOTV
  • Words: 52
  • Points: 301
  • 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, ...)
1AM5Protein building block acid, or a NH₂ group, noun
1AM7Smelly cleaning fluid, NH₃
1AM5Slang abbr. for a prenatal test that takes fluid from a uterus with a needle, noun
1AN5Jungian term for inner ♀ part of ♂
1AN9Bring to life (cartoons), verb; or living, adj.
1AN6Ceremonially smear someone with oil, or designate as a successor
1AN4Opposed to (prefix), NOT uncle’s wife nickname
1AN5Atom or molecule with a net electric charge
1AN10Write something, for example music, in a specialized system
1AT6Succeed in getting, or reach; verb (… nirvana), noun form of the adjective form is a pangram
1AV5Bird-related adj. (… Flu, e.g.)
1AV8Pilot or fly in a plane, verb (from Latin for bird)
1IM4Prayer leader at mosque
1IM9Copy someone’s speech or mannerisms
1IN10Cause to begin, or admit into a secret society; verb; or novice, noun
1IN10Introduce or invent new ideas, products, or methods
1IN10Extremely close & personal (… apparel)
1IN4Enter (go … the room), preposition
1IN10Ask someone to a party
1IN10Character of sound, a sound (dial or ring-); noun; give greater strength or firmness to a body or a muscle; verb
1IO49th Greek letter, I; or extremely small amount
1MA4Permanently injure
1MA4Primary (Street), adj.
1MA8Keep up (appearances), or support; verb
1MA5Craze, noun (Beatle-…)
1MI4Smaller version (as in Cooper car), slang abbr.
1MI51/60 dram, UK music ½ note, or calligraphy short vertical stroke
1MI6Smallest amount (the … bet at this table is $100)
1MI6Underling, as seen in “Despicable Me”
1MI7Soccer parent or carpool vehicle
1MI4Breath candy or its flavor or plant source, noun; or create coins, verb
1MI4Catcher’s glove, or Sen. Romney
1MO9Craze, noun (Beatle-…)
1MO6Action by which things change position, or parliamentary proposal; noun
1MO10Reason for doing something
1NA6Country, or temperance activist Carrie
1NO10Propose a candidate for election or an honor
1NO8Write something, for example music, in a specialized system
1NO6Vague idea, or small sewing accessory
1NO8Legal term for "replace an old contract with a new one"
1OM4Leave out, verb
1ON5Veg that makes you cry when cut (for some, this is the "dreaded root veg")
1OV7Loud prolonged applause
1TA5Smear of corruption or pollution, noun/verb
1TA6Brown chemical in tea & wine used to preserve leather, noun
1TA6Japanese & dojo floor mats (畳)
1TI4Shade of color, noun; or darken car windows, verb
1TI5Pre-Olympic god, largest Saturn moon, or industry bigwig
1TO6New Zealand small bird (Magnum, P.I star 1st name + breast, slang)
1VA4Conceited (Carly Simon “You’re So …”)
1VI7Nutritional substance such as A & B6, or pill such as Centrum
1VO5Eject matter from the stomach through the mouth, verb/noun

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