Bee Roots for 2023-10-04

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: P/ADHORT
  • Words: 45
  • Points: 196
  • Pangrams: 2
Source: Australian Museum

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, ...)
2AD5,7Get used to a new situation, or modify for new use
1AD5Legally take responsibility for someone else's child; choose to take up, follow, or use
1AP5Separately (… from that), or in pieces (taken …)
1AP7Soviet admin system (…-chik)
1AR9Invertebrate animal, such as an insect, spider, or crustacean, pangram
1AT4Opposite of bottom
1DR5Sag, or hang limply
1DR4Let fall, verb; or a tiny amount of liquid, noun
1HA7Motor vehicle with a rigid roof, compound pangram
1HA4Angelic stringed instrument, noun; or talk persistently and annoyingly about something, verb
1HO4O you jump through or spin around your waist (hula …)
1HO6Asian dish similar to fondue; AKA steamboat (compound)
1OP4Sunfish, kingfish, Jerusalem haddock, or redfin ocean pan; close to TV queen with her OWN network & magazine
1PA4Father, slang
1PA7Government-owned hotel in Spain
1PA8Release people or supplies from a plane by ‘chute
1PA7Flaky North Indian flatbread
1PA9Squad of soldiers who drop from planes; (…-er)
1PA6Talking tropical bird, noun; or to mimic someone, verb
1PA4Some but not all, or line combed into hair
1PA4Walking or bike trail
1PH7Ancient Egyptian ruler (watch the vowel order!)
1PH4“Excellent” in hip-hop slang, NOT obese
1PH5Picture made using a camera: short form is more common in the Bee, long form is a pangram
1PO4Christopher Robbins’ Winnie The … Bear
1PO4Tire out (I’m …-ed); or defecate, slang verb/noun
1PO4Lacking $, or worse than ideal
1PO4Nautical “left,” harbor, or wine from Lisbon
1PR4Brit slang for a fool or butt (“…fall”); similar to “Jurassic Park” actor Chris
1PR4Poke, nudge, or spur (reluctant person or cattle)
1PR4Support (… up), verb; on-stage object or ballot initiative abbr., noun
1RA7Close relationship with good communications
1RA4Fascinated, mesmerized; adj.
1RA6Carnivorous bird (eagle, hawk, owl, vulture) or dinosaur (veloci-…)
1RA7Device to catch large rodents, or a run-down place, compound
1TA4Spanish bar snack (usually plural)
1TA7Central plant anchor that grows straight down (others branch off it) & sucks up water; compound; a carrot is one
1TA4Waterproof sheet used as outdoor roof, abbr.
1TO6Lethargy, not quite hibernation
1TR4Device for catching things
1TR8Hinged panel in a floor, ceiling, or roof (compound)
1TR5Soldiers (usually plural), or unit of Boy or Girl Scouts

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