Bee Roots for 2023-12-02

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: C/AGHIMN
  • Words: 42
  • Points: 242
  • Pangrams: 2
Source: French Institute of the North Shore

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
1AC5Get a top grade on a test
1AC6Muscle, heart, tooth, or tummy dull pain
1CA7Hidden stockpile, or computer temp memory storage to speed access
1CA6Barred enclosure, or actor Nicolas
1CA6Alligator with name similar to British Caribbean islands (George Town) (alt spelling is the same)
1CA4♀ sleeveless undergarment top, slang abbr.
1CA7Cylindrical metal container, noun; be capable, verb, fire from a job (slang verb)
1CA6Leggy French dance
1CA6Walking stick, or striped peppermint Xmas crook
1CA5Tropical “lily”
1CH4Spiced Indian tea (… latte)
2CH5,8String of metal links
1CH8Possibility (there’s a small …) or serendipity (they met by …); or take a risk, verb
1CH8Make something different (… your mind, … your clothes), or loose coins (spare …)
1CH4Faddish “pet” mint plant
1CH5Girl, Spanish
1CH6Pretentious style (or almost 2x fashionable)
1CH7Percussion instrument or its sound (I find a tinkling wind … to be annoying), noun
1CH11Deep-fried Tex–Mex burrito with compound Spanish moniker, pangram
2CH4,8Bottom of face, noun; or raise it above a bar in a pull-up, verb
1CH5Large Asian country, or ceramics from there
2CI5,8Easy task (it’s a …), noun; or tighten up (belt or saddle, e.g.), verb
1IC5Frozen water
2IN4,71/12 of a foot, noun; or move slowly, verb
1MA6Self-defense pepper spray, staff, or spice from a nutmeg
1MA9Powered device (fax, sewing, answering, “Rage Against the…”), perfect pangram (gerund form is an imperfect pangram)
2MA5,8Card tricks & illusions, noun/adj. (… wand)
2MA5,6Craze, noun (Beatle-…)
1MI4Flaky rock that breaks off in sheets
1MI5Parrot someone’s speaking & mannerisms, verb; or the person doing it, noun
1MI7Chop finely
1MI7Small, handheld video-capturing device used by TV reporters
1NI6Vitamin B3

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