Bee Roots for 2023-09-28

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/GHNPUW
  • Words: 34
  • Points: 209
  • Pangrams: 1
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, ...)
1GI7Live performance by or engagement for a musician or group, especially playing pop or jazz; noun/verb
1GI7Clear alcoholic spirit flavored with juniper berries; or card game
1GU7Lethal weapon that shoots bullets; slang term for someone who uses it (hired …), noun/verb
1HI4Opposite of low; or greater than normal (… definition TV), or stoned (… as a kite), adj.
1HI7Door fastener to frame that lets it swing open & closed, noun/verb
1HU7Put your arms around someone, verb/noun
1IN6A baseball game is divided into 9 of these
1NI4Near, archaic (“Repent, the end is …!”)
1NI7Pinch, squeeze, or bite sharply, verb/noun
1PI7Animal that is the source of bacon, noun/verb
1PI7Thin piece of metal with a sharp point at one end, used especially for securing fabric, noun/verb
1PI6Evergreen tree with cones, noun; or to long for, verb
2PI4,7Query a computer to determine connection speed; or get a sonar hit; or first word of informal name for table tennis
1PI5Poster of a sex symbol ("model" or "girl"), or how you tack it to the wall, compound
1PI6Copper or plastic tube that carries water, noun; or to move liquid in one, verb; decorate a cake with icing
1PI6Fosse musical about Charlemagne’s son, or apple variety
1PU7Joke exploiting different meanings of a word or its homophones, noun/verb
1UN9Door fastener to frame that lets it swing open & closed, noun/verb
1UN5Joint that connects your leg to the rest of your body, noun; or the fruit of a rose, noun; or following the lastest fashion, adj.
2UN5,9Thin piece of metal with a sharp point at one end, used especially for securing fabric, noun/verb
1UP6Toward a higher place, position, or volume (turn … the music), adv./prep./adj./noun/verb
1WH7Long, high-pitched complaining cry (“You want some cheese with that…?”)
1WH8Complain persistently and peevishly (British)
2WH4,8A strip of leather fastened to a handle, noun/verb
1WH8Defeat decisively, slangily
1WI7Head covering made of hair
1WI7Be victorious in a game or battle
1WI6Fermented grape juice, (Merlot, e.g.), noun/verb
2WI4,7What birds, bats, & planes use to fly
1WI6Clean or dry something by rubbing it with a cloth, a piece of paper, or a hand, verb; or a pre-moistened cleaning cloth, 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