Bee Roots for 2023-10-06

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: F/AILORW
  • Words: 44
  • Points: 172
  • 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, ...)
1AF6Extramarital dalliance
1AF4Jackson 5 hairstyle
1AI7Movement of what you breathe around or through something, compound
1AI7Shape of plane wings, compound
1AL7Grass for hay, or Little Rascal
1AL5Cool & distant in behavior, adj.; anagram of bath sponge
1FA4Don’t pass a test
1FA4Autumn, noun; or plummet, verb
1FA7Statistical decrease, or result of slipping while on a ladder; compound
1FA6Crop field left dormant, adj.
1FA5Ancient grain used in salad & soup, not King Tut
1FA6A litter of pigs
1FI6Of or due from a son or daughter, adj.
1FI4Add material until the container or hole is at capacity
1FL5Swing (arms) wildly
1FL5Aptitude (for languages, e.g.) or panache
1FL5What you walk on inside (You’re getting mud on my clean …!)
1FL5Plants of a particular region (… & fauna)
1FL6Involving flowers
1FL4Movement of water in a current
1FO4Baby horse or other equine, noun/verb
1FO4Thin aluminum sheet for wrapping leftovers, noun; or thwart, verb (Curses! …ed again)
1FO5A book (A Shakespeare first … is quite valuable), a page in a book, or a book size; from Latin for “leaf”
1FO6Come after or behind (an event or person)
1FO8A great deal of fuss or attention given to a minor matter; or showy frills added unnecessarily
1FO4Unwise person, court jester tarot card, noun; or to trick or deceive, verb
1FO4Meeting place (Roman …, online discussion …)
1FO4Domestic game birds, not an unfair act in soccer
1FR5Weak & delicate
1FR5Monk (… Tuck of “Robin Hood”)
1FR5Decorative or unnecessary extra, noun + adj.
1LO4Unit of bread, noun; or idle (… around), verb
1LO5Bath sponge
1OF5Entrails & organs used as food
1RA6African palm tree, or its fiber in hats, mats, & baskets
1RI4Short repeated phrase in pop & jazz (guitar), noun/verb
1RI8Undesirable people, overflow room on “Ellen"
1RO4Top of a house (where Santa lands)
1WA4Homeless, neglected, or abandoned person, esp. a child; Dickens novels often feature them (street …)
1WO4Wild cousin of dogs that travels in packs, noun; or devour hungrily, verb
1WO4What a dog says

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