Bee Roots for 2023-11-30

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: I/ACMORT
  • Words: 55
  • Points: 254
  • Pangrams: 1

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, ...)
1AC6African or Australian wattle tree
1AC4Trendy smoothie berry
1AO6Main blood pipe from heart
1AR6North Pole adj. (… Circle or Ocean)
1AR4Opera solo
1AR8Pleasant smell (baking bread, e.g.)
1AT6Basic unit of matter, “… Ant” superhero, noun/adjective (… bomb)
1AT5Large open-air or skylight covered space surrounded by a building, common in ancient Roman houses; an upper cavity of the heart
1AT5Unfinished room below roof; garret
1CA5Succulent plant with a thick stem that usually has spines, lacks leaves, and occasionally has brilliantly colored flowers
1CA4♀ sleeveless undergarment top, slang abbr.
1CA7Rio de Janeiro native
1CI4“Hi” or “Bye” in Italian (“… bella”)
1CI5“Around” when used before a year, Latin
1CI5Cloud forming wispy streaks (“mare's tails”) at high altitude
1CI6Tree genus that includes lemon, lime, orange, and grapefruit, or the fruit of those trees
1CO5Central American raccoon
1CO5Spherical or nearly spherical bacterium
1CO4Fiber from the outer husk of the coconut, used for making ropes & matting
1CO5Paid jokester, or “… book” with superheroes
1CO6Perpetrate, pledge, or put into a mental ward
1CR6Fault-finder (“everyone’s a …”), or arts & dining reviewer
1CR5Small plant that blooms early in spring
1IM4Prayer leader at mosque
1IM8Copy someone’s speech or mannerisms
1IO49th Greek letter, I; or extremely small amount
1MA4Permanently injure
1MI4Flaky rock that breaks off in sheets
1MI5Prefix meaning small (-scope, -phone)
1MI5Parrot someone’s speaking & mannerisms, verb; or the person doing it, noun
1MI6Looking glass (“Who’s the fairest of them all?”)
1MI4Catcher’s glove, or Sen. Romney
1MO9Temporary prohibition of an activity (… on evictions because of COVID)
1OM4Leave out, verb
1OR8Religious music for orchestra & voice (Handel’s Messiah, e.g.)
1RA5Indian yogurt veg dip
1RA5Proportion in math (Golden …, e.g.)
1RI7Italian cheese used in lasagna
1RI4Civil unrest, noun; or to rampage, verb
1RO4Indian flatbread that isn’t naan
1TA5Understood without being stated (… agreement), adj.
1TA6Action planned to achieve a specific end (negotiating …)
1TA6Japanese rich, naturally fermented soy sauce
1TA6Japanese & dojo floor mats (畳)
1TI5Jeweled, ornamental ½ crown
1TO6New Zealand small bird (Magnum, P.I star 1st name + breast, slang)
1TO5Shinto shrine gate, NOT double plural of donut shapes
2TO4,5Donut shape
1TR5Characteristic, often genetically determined (left-handedness, e.g.)
1TR7Benedict Arnold, e.g.
1TR9Italian restaurant with simple food
1TR6Fine-knitted fabric, from French “to knit”
1TR4Neaten (hair) by snipping off ends
1TR4Musical group of 3 (Kingston …)

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