Bee Roots for 2023-10-11

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: E/BCILOT
  • Words: 57
  • Points: 268
  • 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, ...)
1BE4Borscht veg
1BE6VW compact car, or winged insect (scarab, e.g.)
1BE4It rings
1BE5Southern pretty ♀ (Scarlett O'Hara, e.g.)
1BE4It holds your pants up
1BE5Nut that Bloody Mary chews in “South Pacific”; AKA areca nut
1BE5Be in a horizontal resting position, or say something false
1BE8Small (Stuart or Chicken …), adj.
1BI7Beautiful trinket, from French (word looks similar to holy book)
1BI5Holy book (starts with Genesis)
1BI4Liver secretion, or anger
1BI6Temp soldier lodging
1BI4Use teeth to cut into food (take a … out of the apple)
1BO6Type of “head” doll that nods when moved
1BO5Italian game similar to lawn bowling
2BO6,6Baby foot covering
1BO6Baby milk feeder
1CE5Person who’s well-known, slang abbr.
1CE4Prison “room,” or smallest unit of an organism
2CE5,5Yo-Yo Ma’s instrument (also Pablo Casals')
1CI4Quote as evidence
1CO6Repair or make, especially shoes; make or put together roughly or hastily
2CO7,11Gather (used plates), solicit & receive (charity $); or acquire (rare coins), verb, adj. form is a pangram
1CO6Flange or socket for setting a gem
1CO6“Lassie” dog breed
1CO6Kid’s imaginary germ, or a body louse
1CO4Dove shelter, NOT a jacket
1EC8Wide-ranging tastes, styles, or ideas; adj.
2EL5,7Vote into office
1EL6Draw out a response, verb
1EL5Select group that’s superior
1IC6Frozen water spear formed from drips
2LI5,7Printed slander, noun
1LI4Itchy hair parasites
1LI4Low-calorie or low-fat in ad-speak (Miller … beer)
1LI6Small (Stuart or Chicken …), adj.
1LO4Brain section, or part of ear most commonly pierced
1OB4Double reed orchestra-tuning instrument
1OC6Small S Am wild cat
1OC5Group of 8 (musicians)
1OL5Oil adj. (… acid), from Latin for oil
1OL5Skateboard jump, or Stan’s slapstick partner
1TE4Inform, verb; or Swiss archer William with an overture
1TI4Thin ceramic wall, counter, flooring, or roofing square
1TI5Name of a book, movie, or job, noun/verb; or a document showing you own a car or house
1TI6Dot above an i or j, or really small amount
1TO5Fabric for making “test” garments; add a vowel to end of above
1TO6Commode; add a consonant to end of above
1TO8Archaic, French term for the process of cleaning oneself (Eau de …)
1TO6Drive or move in a leisurely manner, or play gently or repeatedly on a flute
1TO4Reusable bag, noun; or schlep, verb

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