Bee Roots for 2023-09-27

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/CEFNOU
  • Words: 42
  • Points: 152
  • Pangrams: 2
Source: Wikipedia

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, ...)
2CE4,7Prison “room,” or smallest unit of an organism
1CE5Yo-Yo Ma’s instrument (also Pablo Casals')
1CL4Music symbol indicating key (e.g., treble, 🎼); French for “key”
1CL5Identical (genetic) copy, or make one, noun/verb
1CL4Hint, or what a detective seeks (Get a …!), noun/verb
1CO7Irish term for a young ♀
1CO5: (punctuation mark), or intestine
1CO7Military rank between major & general (Hogan & Klink, e.g.)
1CO10Junction of 2 rivers, or act or process of merging; pangram noun
1CO4“Warm” antonym, or “neat!”
1CO6Deep ravine, or lava flow; from French “to flow” (Grand … Dam in WA)
1CU4Remove unwanted from the herd
1EF9Substance that flows out from something, or action of doing so; noun
1FE4Perceive by touch; or experience (emotion)
1FE4Cut or knock down (a tree or opponent, e.g.)
1FE5Person who has been convicted of a serious crime & often can’t vote in many places as a result
1FE6Veg & seed used in cooking, esp. Italian
1FL4Run away from danger, NOT a bug that causes itching
1FL6Wool from sheep, or fabric (jacket), noun; or overcharge, slang verb
1FL4Sheet of ice atop the ocean, homophone of moving liquid
1FL7Move in an exaggeratedly impatient or angry manner so as to draw attention to oneself (she …-ed out in a huff), perfect pangram verb
1FL4Chimney duct, NOT a seasonal illness
1FL5Dryer lint, noun, or what you do to a flat pillow (… up)
1FO4Unwise person, court jester tarot card, noun; or to trick or deceive, verb
1FO4Pollute, or make an out of bounds or illegal sports play (he hit a … ball)
1FU4Gasoline or oil, e.g., noun; or add it to a tank (… up)
1FU4At capacity (I can’t finish the meal, I’m …), adj.
1FU6Pouring tool that’s wide at top & narrow at bottom, noun; or guide something through something else
1LO4Crazy, Spanish
1LO4Hang out or droop, as a dog’s tongue
1LO4Solitary (… wolf, e.g.), adj.
1LO4“Crazy” water bird on Canada $1 coin
1LU4Soothe (… into a false sense of security), verb; or a pause in activity, noun
1LU4Doozy, or “To Sir With Love” singer
1LU4Moon, French (Debussy’s “Clair de …”)
1NO4Xmas time, or playwright Coward
1NU7(Physics) collective term for protons & neutrons
1NU4Having no legal or binding force; invalid
1UN6“Warm” antonym, or “neat!”
1UN5Parent’s brother (… Sam)

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