Bee Roots for 2023-10-31

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: A/ILOTVY
  • Words: 36
  • Points: 164
  • Pangrams: 1
Source: Island Expeditions

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, ...)
1AI5Garlic mayonnaise, from French for garlic
1AL5Put (fears) at rest
1AL5Apportion $ or other resource (time, e.g.)
1AL5Two or more metals combined to make a new one, (brass, steel, etc.); noun/verb
1AL4Friend (person, country) who joins you for a common purpose in a conflict, noun/verb
1AL4Sax smaller than a tenor, or voice higher than one
1AL4Illumination, noun/verb (Let there be …)
1AT5Coral island (Bikini, e.g.)
1AT5Move into a sloping position, or fight windmills (… at)
1AV5Make use of (… yourself of), or use (to no …)
1IO49th Greek letter, I; or extremely small amount
1LA4Molten rock from a volcano
3LO5,7,7Faithful, devoted
1OA4Grain that is Quaker's specialty
1OV4Shape of a running track or 🥚, from Latin for “egg”
1TA4Dogs wag this hind appendage
1TA4Of greater than average height, adj.
1TA6Fringed prayer shawl
1TA5Add up (keep a running …, or …–Ho! The quarry is in sight)
1TA4Ankle bone
1TA6Skin “ink”
1TA5Worn & shabby, or of poor quality; Scottish
3TO5,7,8The whole amount (sum of numbers, e.g.)
1VI4Small glass container (… of poison), NOT despicable
1VI5Large & luxurious country house (Roman …)
1VI5Modern fiddle smaller than cello, cross-dressing twin lead of “Twelfth Night,” or actress Davis
3VI5,7,8Essential, or lively (… signs)
1VO5French exclamation (et …) “here it is!”
1VO10Liable to change rapidly and unpredictably, especially for the worse (the market has been … lately)

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