Bee Roots for 2023-10-25

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/DEILOV
  • Words: 44
  • Points: 190
  • 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, ...)
2DE6,7Sully, mar, spoil, desecrate
1DE6Openly resist or refuse to obey
1DE7Treat someone or something as a god
2DO4,6Remove a hat or clothing
1ED7Instruct or improve someone, morally or intellectually
1FE4Give a meal to
1FE4Perceive by touch; or experience (emotion)
1FE5Mammal of the cat family
2FE4,6Cut or knock down (a tree or opponent, e.g.)
2FI6,7Violin, especially when used to play folk music, noun/verb
1FI4Medieval for feudal land or area of control; often has –DOM suffix
2FI5,7What a farmer works in, or what football is played on, noun/verb
2FI4,5Small flute used with a drum in military bands, noun/verb
2FI4,5Folder of related papers, or tool for smoothing edges (fingernails, e.g.), noun/verb
2FI4,6Add material until the container or hole is at capacity
1FI4The number of fingers on most hands
1FI8Multiplied by the number of fingers on one hand, compound pangram
2FL4,4Run away from danger, NOT a bug that causes itching
1FL4Sheet of ice atop the ocean, homophone of moving liquid
2FL5,7Weather event involving rivers and streams overflowing, noun/verb (it was a 100-year …)
1FL5What airplanes and most birds can do, verb; or common insect, noun; or go high in the air (baseball noun/verb)
2FO4,6Thin aluminum sheet for wrapping leftovers, noun; or thwart, verb (Curses! …ed again)
2FO4,6What you do to sheets after laundry, or quit a hand in poker
1FO5A book (A Shakespeare first … is quite valuable), a page in a book, or a book size; from Latin for “leaf”
1FO4What you eat; victuals
1FO6Slang for eating & cooking enthusiast
2FO4,6Unwise person, court jester tarot card, noun; or to trick or deceive, verb
1LI4Cereal Mikey prefers, board game, or “death” antonym
1OF5Murder (slang); gerund form also means the near future
1VI8Speak or write about in an abusively disparaging manner
1VI8Enliven or animate

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