Bee Roots for 2023-10-27

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: I/ACLNOY
  • Words: 64
  • Points: 391
  • Pangrams: 5

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, ...)
1AC6African or Australian wattle tree
1AC4Trendy smoothie berry
1AC7Ride a bike; series of events that are regularly repeated in the same order
1AI5Garlic mayonnaise, from French for garlic
2AN5,7Atom or molecule with a net electric charge
1CA6Rough cotton fabric, or colorful cat
1CA7Italian cream-filled tube pastry
1CA7Shrewd; or soup tin adj.
3CA7,9,11Nikon rival, or accepted (Church) lore, noun, adverb form is a pangram
1CI4“Hi” or “Bye” in Italian (“… bella”)
1CI5Short microscopic hairlike vibrating structure found in large numbers on the surface of certain cells; (anatomy) eyelash
4CL6,8,9,10Medical facility (health …)
1CO5Spherical or nearly spherical bacterium
1CO4Wind up spirally, or Hamlet’s “mortal …”
1CO4Metal $, noun; or come up with a new phrase, verb
1CO5Baby or horse upset tummy
1CO7: (punctuation mark), or intestine
2CO8,10Area controlled by another country, typically a distant one, and occupied by settlers from that country (Massachusetts Bay …), adverb form is a pangram
1CO5Ice cream holder shape
2CO7,9Shaped like an ice cream holder or traffic pylon, adj., adverb form is a pangram
3CY6,8,10Ride a bike; series of events that are regularly repeated in the same order
3CY5,7,9Doubter, pessimist
1IC5Frozen water
3IC4,6,10Symbol (you tap on phone screen, e.g.), adverb form is a pangram
1IL5Hip bone
1IL4Not healthy, sick, adverb/noun; hardly, or only with difficulty, adverb (they could … afford the cost of a new car)
1IN5Decorate something by embedding pieces of a different material in it, flush with its surface
1IO5Atom or molecule with a net electric charge
2LA7,11Concise speech or writing, adj. (from Greek for "Spartan"), adverb form is a pangram
1LA5Hawaiian island or porch
1LA7Sheep (wool) oil, used as skin moisturizer
1LA4Put something down
1LI5Purple flower or shade
1LI4Monet floral subject (water …)
1LI4Roaring animal that travels in a pride (… King)
1LO4A particular point or place
1LO4Sex organ region of body (fruit of my …s); anagram of “… King” animal
1NA4Spike that’s hammered, noun/verb
1NI6Vitamin B3
1NI5Foolish or silly person
1NO11Medical facility (health …)
1NO91 followed 30 zeroes; Latin 9 prefix
1OI4Viscous liquid used for lubrication, noun/verb; (food) a fat that's liquid at room temperature
1OI6What the Tinman carries for lubrication, compound
1OL4Mixture, or spicy Spanish stew, NOT margarine
2ON5,6Veg that makes you cry when cut (for some, this is the "dreaded root veg")

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