Bee Roots for 2023-11-22

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: N/ADIORY
  • Words: 47
  • Points: 194
  • Pangrams: 2
Source: American Numismatic Society via Wikimedia Commons

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, ...)
1AD5Decorate (… with) (Xmas tree, e.g.)
1AN7Metal support for fireplace wood (firedog)
1AN7Non–Apple phone OS, or humanoid robot (do they dream of electric sheep?)
1AN5Irritate, vex, irk
1AN4Soon, poetically
1AN5Atom or molecule with a net electric charge
1DA5Fop, or foppish (“Yankee Doodle …” Cagney film)
1DA4Mild exclamation; or mend holes in socks, verb
1DI5Arab $, not supper
1DI4Flintstones pet, or T. Rex family abbr.
1DO5Someone who gives (blood, organs, $)
1DR5What sink water goes down
1IN6Not outside
1IN6Progress (make), usually plural noun, contains street synonym
1IR4Element Fe (atomic number 26), or hot clothes presser, noun/verb
1IR5Oxymoronic humor, sarcasm
1NA4Indiaan flaat breaad
1NA4Nothing, Spanish
1NA5Lowest point, rock-bottom, depths; or below the observer in astronomy
1NA5Greek water nymph, or dragonfly larva
1NA4Grandma, slang; or Peter Pan dog
1NA5♀ goat, or nursemaid
1NA4Dialectic negation (I survived with … a scratch)
1NI5Foolish or silly person
1NO8Place you buy or produce milk, or food with milk adj.
1NO4“Black” in French; or dark mystery genre (film …)
1NO412:00, midday, 🕛
1NO712:00 (lunchtime), phrase (meridian + 24 hour period) (…Devil AKA acedia)
1NO4Edible seaweed, eaten either fresh or dried in sheets
2ON5,6Veg that makes you cry when cut (for some, this is the "dreaded root veg")
1OR6Make someone a priest
1OR8With no special or distinctive features (“…People” with Mary Tyler Moore), pangram adj.
1RA6Unit of angular measure
1RA5Harmful gas that seeps into homes; atomic no. 86
2RA4,5Liquid precipitation
1RA4Kirk’s Yeoman Janice on Star Trek, or South African $
1RA5Slang for odd or suspicious person (short for chosen by chance)
1RA5Sexually excited, slang (musician Jackson or “Toy Story” composer Newman)
1RA4Hindu queen, anagram of liquid precipitation
1RA5Synthetic fabric from cellulose
1RI4Tough outer skin of certain fruit, especially citrus
1RO4Horse with 2–colored coat
1RO5Musical form with recurring theme, often final movement of a piece, from Italian
1YA4Knitting thread, or wild story
1YO4Archaic for “over there;” usually has BE– prefix (Bed, Bath, & Be…) or –ER suffix (wild blue …er)

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