Bee Roots for 2023-11-09

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: U/CEHLNO
  • Words: 22
  • Points: 95
  • Pangrams: 1
Source: Pokemon Uranium

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, ...)
1CE7Prison “room,” or smallest unit of an organism
1CL4Hint, or what a detective seeks (Get a …!), noun/verb
1CO5Sofa, noun; express in a specific style of language, verb
1CO6Deep ravine, or lava flow; from French “to flow” (Grand … Dam in WA)
1CU4Remove unwanted from the herd
1EU6Castrated harem guard
1HU4Base of ship, or skin of nuts
1HU5Intuition (acting on a …), noun; or stoop down (“The …back of Notre Dame”), verb
1LO6Disreputable or sordid in a rakish or appealing way (from French)
1LU4Soothe (… into a false sense of security), verb; or a pause in activity, noun
1LU4Doozy, or “To Sir With Love” singer
1LU5Mid-day meal
1LU8Formal mid-day meal, pangram
1LU4Moon, French (Debussy’s “Clair de …”)
1NO4In grammar, a person, place or thing
1NU7(Physics) collective term for protons & neutrons
1NU4Having no legal or binding force; invalid
1OU4Sound you make when something hurts
1OU5Unit of weight or liquid measure; 128 in a US gallon & 16 in a pound
1UN8Close fingers into a tight ball (fist), or contract muscles (buttocks, jaw)
1UN6“Warm” antonym, or “neat!”
1UN5Parent’s brother (… Sam)

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