Bee Roots for 2023-10-13

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: T/BHILNO
  • Words: 39
  • Points: 131
  • Pangrams: 1
Source: Twilight Tangents

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, ...)
1BI91 followed by 9 zeroes (in US & France); Latin 2 prefix, ordinal form is a pangram
1BI6Vitamin B7
1BL4Stain (on your record), noun; or dry using absorbent material (forehead dampness), verb
1BL6Slang for drunk
1BO4Runner Usain, or what you screw into a nut
1BO6Small tuna relative; Spanish for “pretty” (masc)
1BO4Cowboy or winter shoe
1BO5Privacy enclosure (voting, phone …), or Lincoln assassin
1BO4Each of 2 things (I’ll take this AND that), adv.
1HI4Sword or dagger handle
1HI4Clue, suggestion, noun/verb
1HO6Small, human-like creature with hairy feet - prominent in Tolkein stories
1HO4Otter den
1HO4Owl sound
2IN7,10Hinder, restrain, or prevent (cold weather …s plant growth)
1IN4Enter (go … the room), preposition
1LI4Singsong accent
1LI4Dryer fluff
1LI5Print made with a flat surface treated so as to repel the ink except where it is required for printing
1LO4Pirate treasure, noun; or to steal during a riot, verb
1LO6Moisturizing or suntan cream
1LO5State-sponsored numbers betting ticket (Powerball, e.g.)
1NI5Number of justices on Supreme Court
1NO6Vague idea, or small sewing accessory
1OB4Death write-up in newspaper, slang abbr.
1ON4Preposition when mounting an animal or boarding a large vehicle
1TH4Skinny, adj. (… Mints)
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
1TI4Shade of color, noun; or darken car windows, verb
1TO4Work hard (… away, trying to find the last few Spelling Bee words)
1TO4Road use fee (paid at a booth)
1TO9Place where they collect fees for using a road, compound
1TO4An implement (hammer & screwdriver, e.g.); often stored in a …box
1TO4Animated film or character, slang abbr. (car…)
1TO4Short horn sound; noun/verb
1TO5What you chew with

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