Bee Roots for 2023-11-29

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/DENPUX
  • Words: 42
  • Points: 155
  • Pangrams: 2

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, ...)
1DO4Extinct bird; or stupid person, slang
1DO6Put on (… we now our gay apparel)
1DO5Give to a good cause
1DO4Finished (with a task)
2DO4,5Simpleton, or slang for drugs
3DO4,5,6Publish identifying information about someone on the internet, typically with malicious intent
1DU5Shoulder-shrug non-response to a question; “I have no idea”; slang
1EP5Form of lyric poem written in couplets, in which a long line is followed by a shorter one, from Greek
1EX4(World’s) fair or trade show, abbr. (Montreal’s was in ‘67)
2EX7,9describe something systematically and in detail ('ex' + 16 ounces), pangram
1NE4Atomic number 10, gas in lighted signs
1NO6Move your head up and down a little, usually to signal agreement, verb/noun
1NO4Connecting point
1NO4Quantity of zero; “all” antonym
1NO412:00, midday, 🕛
1NO4Slang negation
1NO4In grammar, a person, place or thing
1OD5Greek or Roman building used for musical performances (smaller than theaters)
2OP4,6Pull on a door handle to gain admittance, verb/adj.
1OX4Castrated bulls yoked for plowing
1PE4Low-ranking worker, drudge
1PO4Small lake, or “On Golden…” Henry & Jane Fonda film with Hepburn
1PO4Unleavened cornbread, often Southern or Native American
2PO4,6Tire out (I’m …-ed); or defecate, slang verb/noun
1PO6Make a light explosive sound (… the cork, … the question)
1PO4Francis, Pius, etc. (head of Roman Catholic Church)
2PO5,716 ounces, noun; or hit repeatedly with a hammer or mallet, verb
1UD4Japanese noodles
2UN4,6Perform an action, achieve or complete something; hairstyle (American slang); social event (British slang)
2UN6,8Pull on a door handle to gain admittance, verb/adj.
1UP4Women's hairstyle in which the hair is swept up and fastened away from the face and neck
1UP4Fairy tale-starting preposition (“Once … a time”)
1XE5Atomic number 54, gas used in headlights

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