Bee Roots for 2023-11-20

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/CGHIPR
  • Words: 34
  • Points: 122
  • Pangrams: 1
Source: Hotels for Humanity

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, ...)
1AA5Sound of frustration (from a pirate?)
1AC6African or Australian wattle tree
1AC4Trendy smoothie berry
1AG4Seaweed gel used as food thickener & bacteria culture medium
1AR4Curved span
1AR7No longer in use (words, e.g.), adj.
1AR4Opera solo
1CA4Gefilte fish source, noun; or to complain (… about), verb
1CA5Group of eight bones that form the wrist and part of the hand
1CH4Spiced Indian tea (… latte)
1CH5Furniture for sitting
1CH4Become dry or sore (e.g., lips), verb; guy, fella (British)
1CH4Partially burn & blacken, verb; or trout-like fish
1CH4Faddish “pet” mint plant
1CH5Girl, Spanish
1CI5“Around” when used before a year, Latin
1CR4Steep or rugged cliff or rock face, Celtic
1CR4Excrement, or something of extremely poor quality, noun/verb
1GA4Super enthusiastic; Biden inauguration National Anthem singer
1GR5Math diagram, noun/verb
1GR7Relating to visual art, adj. (… design, … novel); or giving a vivd, detailed description, pangram
1GR6Strong Italian brandy
1HA4“Age of Aquarius” ‘60s nude hippie rock musical, or what grows on your scalp
1HA4Angelic stringed instrument, noun; or talk persistently and annoyingly about something, verb
1HI9Kitchen or dining room seat for a baby or toddler, compound
1PA4Twosome (socks, aces, e.g.)
1PA4Father, slang
1PA9You often indent when you start writing a new one; ends in list word
1PA5Dry out completely (I'm …ed, a …ed landscape where only cacti could grow)
1PI4A printed type size, or medical condition that makes you want to eat non-foods
1PR7Penis adj.: resembling one, relating to ♂ sexuality, or having a persistently erect one; from Greek mythology
1RA4Indian ♫ pattern used as basis for improv, starts with old cloth

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