Bee Roots for 2023-12-10

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: A/CHLNOY
  • Words: 58
  • Points: 253
  • Pangrams: 1
Source: Britannica

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, ...)
1AC4Muscle, heart, tooth, or tummy dull pain
1AC5What a sneeze sounds like
1AH4Nautical greeting (“… there, matey!”)
1AL7Booze, chemically
1AL5Put (fears) at rest
1AL5Two or more metals combined to make a new one, (brass, steel, etc.); noun/verb
1AL4Friend (person, country) who joins you for a common purpose in a conflict, noun/verb
1AL5Hawaiian greeting
1AN5Dried poblano pepper
1AN5Yearly record book
1AN5Irritate, vex, irk
1AN4Soon, poetically
2AN4,6Opening at the end of the alimentary canal through which solid waste matter leaves the body, adj. form also means uptight
1AN6Informal, humorous subject-changer after an interruption or diversion; compound
1CA5Bean source of Hershey Bars
1CA4Phone, name, summon, or shout (out)
1CA5Arum plant referred to as a lily
1CA8Caribbean veg dish
1CA5Artificial waterway (Erie, Suez, Panama …)
1CA6Leggy French dance
1CA5Tropical “lily”
1CA6Wheeled artillery
1CA5Shrewd; or soup tin adj.
1CA6Rapeseed oil
1CA5Nikon rival, or accepted (Church) lore, noun, adverb form is a pangram
1CA6Deep gorge, from Spanish (Grand …)
1CH7Jewish Sabbath braided egg bread
1CH6Possibility (there’s a small …) or serendipity (they met by …); or take a risk, verb
1CL4Group of related (Scottish) families
1CL4Dirt used to make ceramic pots, or boxer Ali former name
1CL6Combo sex & waste cavity in non-mammals
1CO5Athletic instructor or trainer, noun/verb; bus, noun
1CO4“Dirty fuel” dug from mines; what Santa puts in your stocking if you’re bad
1CO41st part of popular soda brand name
1CO5Hot winter drink with marshmallows, or the powder it’s made from
1CO4Pepsi & RC dark brown soda flavor
1CO9Irish mashed potatoes & cabbage (think large weapon that shoots balls)
1CY4Greenish-blue (ink cartridge)
1HA5Kosher in Islam
1HA7Relating to a time in the past that was idyllically happy and peaceful, pangram adj.; or a tropical Asian and African kingfisher with brightly colored plumage, noun; or a mythical bird that breeds in a nest floating at sea at the winter solstice, charming the wind and waves into calm, noun
1HA4Corridor, or Let’s Make a Deal’s Monty
1HA4Nimbus (ring of light or glowing cloud) atop a saint, or Xbox shooter game
1LA4Frilly fabric, or shoestring
1LL5South American grassy plain
1LO5Fish family that includes the “clown”, or English filmmaker Ken (“I, Daniel Blake”)
1LO4Borrowed $, noun/verb
2LO5,7From a nearby area, or a train making all stops
2LO5,7Faithful, devoted
1NA4Indiaan flaat breaad
1NA5Tortilla chip topped with melted cheese and often other tasty toppings
1NA4Grandma, slang; or Peter Pan dog
1NA5♀ goat, or nursemaid
1NO8From a nearby area, or a train making all stops
1ON5Pre-molded tooth restoration that covers chewing surface
1YA5Exclamation ("I’m rich!"), or Web portal & search engine before Google!

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