Bee Roots for 2023-10-26

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/CHMNOU
  • Words: 31
  • Points: 125
  • Pangrams: 1
Source: CDC / Edward J. Wozniak D.V.M., Ph.D., John Willson at the University of Georgia, via 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, ...)
1CO7Tropical fruit in Mounds & Piña Colada
1CO7Create a mixed drink, potion, or wild story
1CO4Foolish old ♂, or water bird
1CO6Soft fabric or its plant source
1CO11Water moccasin, pangram
1CO5Tally, verb; or title for Dracula & Monte Cristo, noun
1CO5Cultured, refined, and well mannered, adj.; opposite (un-…) is much more common
1CU6Cardboard person (how you make one), or spy intermediary, compound
1HO4Owl sound
1HU4Search for (scavenger …)
1HU5Rabbit cage, or open cabinet with shelves
1MO5February is the shortest one
1MO4Irrelevant, in law (it’s a … point), adj.; or obscure verb meaning to raise a topic for discussion
1MO4Drab butterfly
1MO5Short phrase encapsulating beliefs of an institution (Marines’ “Semper Fi”)
1MO5Get on a horse, or geographical name start (St. Helens, Shasta, Everest)
1MO5Body part where you put food and drink
1MU4Mixed-breed dog, slang
1MU6Sheep meat (chops)
1NO5Indentation on an edge or surface, noun/verb (arrows have a … at the end for the bowstring); or a deep, narrow mountain pass
1ON4Preposition when mounting an animal or boarding a large vehicle
1TH4Archaic singular “you” (“Romeo, wherefore art …”)
1TO4Animated film or character, slang abbr. (car…)
1TO4Short horn sound; noun/verb
1TO5What you chew with
1TO5Come into or be in contact with
1TO4Promote, or offer horse racing tips
1TU4Ballet skirt, or S Afr Bishop Desmond
1UN7Cultured, refined, and well mannered, adj.; opposite (un-…) is much more common
1UN5Divide into pieces with a knife or other sharp implement, verb/noun
1UN4Archaic preposition (Handel’s Messiah “For … us a child is born”)

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