Bee Roots for 2023-11-11

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: E/FGILNO
  • Words: 59
  • Points: 241
  • 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, ...)
1EG6What baby birds hatch from
1EG6Creamy Xmas drink with nutmeg & rum
1EL5Small, delicate, impish; as a Keebler worker, adj.
1EN6Car motor
2FE4,7Perceive by touch; or experience (emotion)
2FE5,8Pretend to have a particular feeling (… enthusiasm)
1FE6Cat adj./noun
2FE4,7Cut or knock down (a tree or opponent, e.g.)
1FE5Person who has been convicted of a serious crime & often can’t vote in many places as a result
1FE6Veg & seed used in cooking, esp. Italian
1FI4Medieval for feudal land or area of control; often has –DOM suffix
1FI4Small flute used with a drum in military bands, noun/verb
1FI4Folder of related papers, or tool for smoothing edges (fingernails, e.g.), noun/verb
1FI4Impose a $ penalty (the judge …d him $100 for speeding)
2FL4,7Run away from danger, NOT a bug that causes itching
1FL4Sheet of ice atop the ocean, homophone of moving liquid
1GE7Thick, clear, slightly sticky substance, especially one used in cosmetic or medicinal products, noun; or become more solid, verb; or take a definite form, verb
1GE5(Smucker’s) fruit preserve, or cosmetic cream, French spelling (with 3 E’s)
1GE4DNA sequence that determines traits, or singing cowboy Autry
1GE5Lives in a lamp, grants wishes
1GE5Someone who is exceptionally intelligent or creative
1GI6Silly laugh; verb/noun
1GL4Delight, choir (… club), or TV show about a HS choir
1GL4Narrow valley, or Eagles singer Frey
1GO6Eye protector for swimming or skiing; or stare with wide & bulging eyes
1GO4Away, out of, past; adj. (“… Girl” film with Affleck)
1GO6Popular web search site
1IN5Concave belly button, slang
1LE7Body part that connects the rest of you to your feet
1LE6A unit of 3,000–6,000 men in the ancient Roman army; or, figuratively, a large number of people
1LE7Like a roaring “King” animal
1LI5Feudal superior (“Yes, my …”)
1LI4Bank hold on a mortgaged property, NOT tilt
1LI4Cereal Mikey prefers, board game, or “death” antonym
1LI8What a palm reader checks to see when you’ll die, or “Who Wants to be a Millionaire” friend assistance, compound
1LI8Something that's been true of you forever, compound pangram adj.
1LI4A queue, what you wait in for your turn
1LI5Cloth napkin fabric
1LO4Theater section behind orchestra
1LO4Solitary (… wolf, e.g.), adj.
1LO6“Crazy” water bird on Canada $1 coin
1NE8♀ light dressing gown made of filmy, soft fabric; French term
1NE4Hawaiian goose & state bird
1NE4Atomic number 10, gas in lighted signs
1NI6Cause slight but persistent annoyance or worry (a …ing suspicion or doubt)
1NI4Number of justices on Supreme Court
1NO4Xmas time, or playwright Coward
1NO4Quantity of zero; “all” antonym
1NO6Rub someone’s head with your knuckles (I gave him a …), slang
1OF7Disconnected from the internet; or out of operation, compound adj.
1OG4S–shaped line or molding, noun; or having a double continuous S–shaped curve, adj.
1OG4Eye amorously
1OL5Skateboard jump, or Stan’s slapstick partner
1ON6Hooked up to the internet, compound adj.

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