Bee Roots for 2023-09-22

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: G/ADNOPR
  • Words: 47
  • Points: 196
  • Pangrams: 2
Source: Live Science

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, ...)
1AG4Seaweed gel used as food thickener & bacteria culture medium
1AG4Very excited to hear or see something, adj.
1AG5Ancient Greek market
1AN6Long-haired rabbit or goat, or fabric from its hair (… sweater)
1AR5Atomic no. 18, abundant gas in Earth atmosphere
1DA4Mild cuss (just get the … thing working!); euphemism for “condemn to Hell” expletive
1DO5Remaining silent & motionless to hide (lie …) (think domestic canine)
1DO6Steal someone’s pooch
1DO4₫ (Vietnam $), or 2nd ½ of doorbell sound
1DR4Pull roughly, or pass time slowly & tediously, verb/noun
1DR6Flying fire-breather (Smaug)
1DR7Cavalry officer, noun; or coerce, verb
1GA4Super enthusiastic; Biden inauguration National Anthem singer
1GA4Group of thugs ("Working on the Chain …"), noun/verb
1GO4Provoke, use a spiked stick to drive cattle
1GO5Gland that produces sperm or eggs
1GO4Orchestra chime or dinner bell
1GO5Intend to do, slang contraction
1GO4Virtuous (“… Humor” ice cream brand); or sizable (a … amount of hot fudge); or approving exclamation (Oh …! We’re having ice cream!)
1GO4Gwyneth Paltrow’s brand, or unpleasant messy gel
1GO63 Greek sisters with snakes for hair & petrifying gazes
1GO4Trail mix of dried fruit & nuts
1GR4Alumnus, abbr.
1GR4Parent’s mom, slang abbr.
1GR5Magnificent or imposing in appearance, size, or style, adj.; a thousand $, slang
4GR7,7,8,9Your parent's father (familiar)
1GR8Parent’s dad, compound slang pangram (2nd ½ is what a pin does to a balloon)
1GR6Strong Italian brandy
1GR5Make an unhappy sound, or respond to a lame joke
1GR4Watered-down (nautical) rum
1NO79–sided shape
1OR5Red-haired ape, slang abbr.
1OR5Keyboard instrument with pipes (church …)
1PA5Heathen; worshiper of the old gods (… rituals)
1PA6Asian tiered tower
1PA4Stab of emotion (… of guilt or regret)
1PA7Perfect example (of virtue or beauty, e.g.)
1PO4Bouncy “stick”, noun/verb
1PO4Early Atari table tennis game
1PR5Fork or antler tine, or deer species (-horn)
1PR10Biased political info, pangram (Goebbels was a Minister of it)
1RA4Indian ♫ pattern used as basis for improv, starts with old cloth
1RA4Make a bell sound, verb/noun; encircle, 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