Bee Roots for 2023-11-08

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/ABCELY
  • Words: 44
  • Points: 242
  • 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, ...)
1AB5Bead calculator
1AC6African or Australian wattle tree
1AC4Trendy smoothie berry
1AC7Ride a bike; series of events that are regularly repeated in the same order
1AL5Criminal’s excuse
1BA7Rod-shaped microorganism
2BA4,6Fee to avoid prison, noun; scoop water out of a ship, or abandon, verb
1BE5Be in a horizontal resting position, or say something false
1BI5Polish flat bread roll topped with chopped onions
3BI5,8,10Holy book (starts with Genesis)
1BI7Two-wheeled vehicle you pedal
1BI4Liver secretion, or anger
2BI4,8Invoice, or actor Murray, noun/verb
1BI5♂ goat, or “Piano Man” Joel
1BI8Ride a bike; series of events that are regularly repeated in the same order
1BI8Latin for lips, or lips of vagina
1CA6Taxi driver, slang
1CE6Gluten intolerance disease
1CE8Abstaining from sex, pangram adj. or noun (person who is this); the state of being this is also a pangram
1CE5Yo-Yo Ma’s instrument (also Pablo Casals')
1CI6Aromatic white-flowered plant of the parsley family, with fernlike leaves
1CI5Short microscopic hairlike vibrating structure found in large numbers on the surface of certain cells; (anatomy) eyelash
3CY6,8,10Ride a bike; series of events that are regularly repeated in the same order
1IC5Frozen water
1IC6Frozen water spear formed from drips
1IL5Hip bone
1IL4Not healthy, sick, adverb/noun; hardly, or only with difficulty, adverb (they could … afford the cost of a new car)
2LA5,6Latin for lips, or lips of vagina
1LA6Easily and frequently altered; unstable
1LI6Responsible by law/legally answerable; likely to do something (he's ... to get upset)
2LI5,7Printed slander, noun
1LI4Itchy hair parasites
1LI5Purple flower or shade
1LI4Monet floral subject (water …)

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