Bee Roots for 2023-10-20

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: L/ACHNTU
  • Words: 42
  • Points: 161
  • Pangrams: 1
Source: Alvesgaspar - Own work, Wikipedia

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, ...)
1AC6Existing in fact comparative adj. (The estimate was higher than the … cost)
1AN5Yearly record book
1AN6Yearly, adj.
1AN5Void a marriage
1AN4Opening at the end of the alimentary canal through which solid waste matter leaves the body, adj. form also means uptight
1CA4Phone, name, summon, or shout (out)
1CA5Arum plant referred to as a lily
1CA5Artificial waterway (Erie, Suez, Panama …)
1CA7Thin tube inserted into a vein or body cavity to administer medicine, drain off fluid, or insert a surgical instrument
1CA7Feline ♂ whistle or jeer at passing ♀ (compound)
1CA8Covers or holds a variety of things; starts with above; compound noun (…term or tray)
1CA4Fetus head covering membrane, or ♀ hat
1CH7Jewish Sabbath braided egg bread
1CL4Group of related (Scottish) families
1CL6Grasp tightly, verb; or gear-shifting pedal, noun; or group of eggs, noun; past tense is a pangram
1CU4Remove unwanted from the herd
1CU4Religious sect centered around a single person
1HA5Kosher in Islam
1HA4Corridor, or Let’s Make a Deal’s Monty
1HA4Come to a complete & sudden stop, verb
1HA4Schlep; rent a “U” one when moving to new home
1HU4Polynesian dance, or hoop you twirl around your waist
1HU4Base of ship, or skin of nuts
1LA6Missing portion in a book or manuscript
1LA7Tropical perennial flowering plant in the verbena family
1LA5Door, window, or gate fastener, noun; or to close one, verb (UN- form is a pangram)
1LA4Flat strip of wood, often plastered as wallboard
1LA6Shoot a rocket into the sky, or start a new venture
1LU4Hawaiian BBQ
1LU4Soothe (… into a false sense of security), verb; or a pause in activity, noun
1LU4Doozy, or “To Sir With Love” singer
1LU4Roman moon goddess, or nutrition bar brand
1LU5Mid-day meal
1LU6½–moon shaped fingertip base white area (Latin "little moon")
1NA5Latin adj. relating to place or time of birth
1NU4Having no legal or binding force; invalid
1TA7Perceptible by touch, adj.
1TA4Mineral in baby powder
1TA4Of greater than average height, adj.
1UL4Forearm bone opposite radius
1UN8Grasp tightly, verb; or gear-shifting pedal, noun; or group of eggs, noun; past tense is a pangram
1UN7Door, window, or gate fastener, noun; or to close one, verb (UN- form is a pangram)

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