Bee Roots for 2023-09-30

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/ACHLOT
  • Words: 61
  • Points: 267
  • 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, ...)
1AC6African or Australian wattle tree
1AC4Trendy smoothie berry
1AI5Garlic mayonnaise, from French for garlic
1AL9Booze, chemically
1AL4Illumination, noun/verb (Let there be …)
1AT5Unfinished room below roof; garret
1AT5Move into a sloping position, or fight windmills (… at)
1CA5Succulent plant with a thick stem that usually has spines, lacks leaves, and occasionally has brilliantly colored flowers
1CA6Rough cotton fabric, or colorful cat
1CA8Including a wide variety of things, all-embracing (used in the name of the pope's church)
1CA7Domestic feline hind appendage, or reed (compound)
1CH4Spiced Indian tea (… latte)
1CH7Complete disorder and confusion
1CH4Faddish “pet” mint plant
1CH5Girl, Spanish
1CH6Pretentious style (or almost 2x fashionable)
1CH5Hot pepper, or spicy meat stew (… con carne)
1CH5Cool (in the fridge), or relax (… out)
1CH4IOU note, Navy memo
1CH8Idle small talk; slang compound noun or verb that starts with a list word
1CH10Person addicted to Hershey or Mars bars
1CI4“Hi” or “Bye” in Italian (“… bella”)
1CI5Short microscopic hairlike vibrating structure found in large numbers on the surface of certain cells; (anatomy) eyelash
1CO5Central American raccoon
1CO8Flap on lower back of jacket; popular politicians have long ones, inverse of formal jacket list word, compound
1CO5Spherical or nearly spherical bacterium
1CO4Wind up spirally, or Hamlet’s “mortal …”
1CO6Relating to sexual intercourse, formal adj.
1CO5Baby or horse upset tummy
1HA4Frozen rain “stone,” noun; or summon a taxi, verb
1HI4What Jack & Jill went up
1HI4Sword or dagger handle
1HI5“Psycho” director Alfred nickname, or slang for thumb a ride, verb; or device on a vehicle that allows it to attach a trailer, noun
1IL5Hip bone
1IL7Not forbidden by law or custom
1IO49th Greek letter, I; or extremely small amount
1IT6𝑆𝑙𝑎𝑛𝑡𝑒𝑑 𝑡𝑒𝑥𝑡 𝑓𝑟𝑜𝑚 𝑅𝑜𝑚𝑒’𝑠 𝑐𝑜𝑢𝑛𝑡𝑟𝑦
1IT4What you scratch (an …)
1LA6Milk adj. (think acid in yogurt or sore muscles)
1LI5Not forbidden by law or custom
1LI5Purple flower or shade
1LI4Singsong accent
1LI5Print made with a flat surface treated so as to repel the ink except where it is required for printing
1LI6Small rounded Chinese fruit with sweet white scented flesh, a large central stone, and a thin rough skin (has at least one alternate spelling)
1LO4A particular point or place
1OI8Fabric treated with linseed on one side to make it waterproof
1OL4Mixture, or spicy Spanish stew, NOT margarine
1TA5Understood without being stated (… agreement), adj.
2TA6,8Action planned to achieve a specific end (negotiating …)
1TA4Dogs wag this hind appendage
1TA8Formal ♂ dinner jacket worn with a white bowtie, compound
1TA6Fringed prayer shawl
1TA4Ankle bone
1TI4Cash register or drawer, noun; “up to,” preposition; or prep soil for planting, verb
1TI4Move into a sloping position, or fight windmills (… at)
1TI5Cultivation of land, or prepped soil surface, noun; rhymes with “extreme dirt” synonym
1TO4Work hard (… away, trying to find the last few Spelling Bee words)

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