Bee Roots for 2023-11-24

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: O/ACFMTU
  • Words: 31
  • Points: 113
  • Pangrams: 1
Source: Pinterest

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, ...)
1AF5In progress (Sherlock Holmes “The game’s …”)
1AM4A supply of bullets, slang abbreviation
1AT4Basic unit of matter, “… Ant” superhero, noun/adjective (… bomb)
1AU4Car, abbr., or “self” prefix
1AU7Fast food restaurant where simple foods and drinks are served by vending machines
1AU8Moving mechanical device made in imitation of a human being; for techies, also has a meaning in computer science, for example cellular …
1CA5Bean source of Hershey Bars
1CA4Clothing that helps you hide, slang abbr.
1CO4Outdoor jacket (trench-…)
1CO41st part of popular soda brand name
1CO5Hot winter drink with marshmallows, or the powder it’s made from
1CO4Prolonged unconscious state
1CO5Curly punctuation mark that separates phrases
1CO4Foolish old ♂, or water bird
1CU6(Time or date) limit, or interruption in supply (removing financial support, e.g.), compound
1CU6Cardboard person (how you make one), or spy intermediary, compound
1FA8Jack of all trades employee, from Latin “do all,” pangram
1FO4Mattress material, or beer froth
1FO4What you cover with a sock
1MO5♀ parent, slang
1MO4Water ditch surrounding a castle
1MO4Irrelevant, in law (it’s a … point), adj.; or obscure verb meaning to raise a topic for discussion
1MO5Short phrase encapsulating beliefs of an institution (Marines’ “Semper Fi”)
1TA4Mexican filled tortilla, or “… Bell” restaurant
1TA6Skin “ink”
1TO7Virtuoso musical piece (Bach’s “… & Fugue in D Minor”)
1TO4Bean curd
1TO6Ketchup & ragù fruit
1TO6♂ feline, compound that starts with a ♂ name (Selleck, Petty, e.g.)
1TO4Short horn sound; noun/verb
1TO4Promote, or offer horse racing tips

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