Bee Roots for 2023-11-13

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: L/FGIORY
  • Words: 39
  • Points: 151
  • Pangrams: 1
Source: Juneau Empire

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, ...)
1FI4Add material until the container or hole is at capacity
1FI5Young ♀ horse
1FL4Whip (a dead horse?), verb
1FL5What you walk on inside (You’re getting mud on my clean …!)
1FO7What you get when a cloud is at ground level (there was a multi-car pileup because of thick …), noun/verb
1FO4Thin aluminum sheet for wrapping leftovers, noun; or thwart, verb (Curses! …ed again)
1FO5A book (A Shakespeare first … is quite valuable), a page in a book, or a book size; from Latin for “leaf”
1FO5Lack of good sense (Barbara Tuchman's The March of …)
1FO4Unwise person, court jester tarot card, noun; or to trick or deceive, verb
2FR5,6Decorative or unnecessary extra
1GI6Silly laugh; verb/noun
1GI6Male escort; Richard Gere “American …” film
1GI4Fish breathing organ
2GI4,5Young ♀
2GL5,7Renow, manificence, or Civil War film about a Black regiment; verb form is a pangram
1GO6Eye protector for swimming or skiing; or stare with wide & bulging eyes
1GO4Sport that has been described as "a good walk spoiled" (often attributed to Mark Twain, who probably never said it)
1GO5Informal exclamation of surprise (part of Little Richard song title “Good …, Miss M...”)
1GO7Mistake, noun; or fool around (… off), verb
1GO6Unfocused or rolling eyes, adj.; or cricket bowling variation
1GO6Large number (10¹⁰⁰), NOT a web search site
1GR5BBQ cooker; or interrogate, slang
1GR8Dazed, weak, or unsteady, especially from illness, intoxication, or sleep
1IG5Ice house
1IL4Not healthy, sick, adverb/noun; hardly, or only with difficulty, adverb (they could … afford the cost of a new car)
1LI4Monet floral subject (water …)
1LO4Company graphic symbol; Target’s is a red bullseye ◎
1LO7Balance competition with timber in water, compound
1LO4Sluggish, adj., or “study of” suffix
1LO4Hang out or droop, as a dog’s tongue
1LO5“Truck” in Britspeak
1OI4Viscous liquid used for lubrication, noun/verb; (food) a fat that's liquid at room temperature
1OL4Mixture, or spicy Spanish stew, NOT margarine
1RI4Small stream
1RO4Stir up mud or trouble (…ed the waters)
1RO4What you do to dice, verb; or Tootsie candy & small bread format, noun

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