Bee Roots for 2023-12-13

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: M/AEGINZ
  • Words: 61
  • Points: 283
  • 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, ...)
1AI6Point at a target
2AM5,7Blow away with awe
1AM4Prayer-ending word
1AN6Fatigue due to red blood cell shortage
1AN5Jungian term for inner ♀ part of ♂
1AN5Japanese cartoon
1EN5Rectal wash (Fleet, e.g.)
1EN6Something mysterious, puzzling, or difficult to understand
2GA4,6Competitive form of play (poker, soccer, Scrabble, etc.)
1GA5Archaic word for a ♂ street urchin, from French
1GA6Young woman with a mischievous, boyish charm
1GA5Γ, γ (3rd Greek letter), & shortest-length EM radiation (… rays)
1GI5Slang for an easy answer, or a rude way of saying “hand it over!”
2IM5,7Picture or other representation of a person or thing (mirror … is that thing reversed), or public perception of a celebrity or company (polish their…), noun/verb
2IM7,9Form a mental picture or concept; or John Lennon's 1971 album and title song
1IM4Prayer leader at mosque
1MA8Periodical (“Time,” “Sports Illustrated,”), pangram
1MA4Literary term for a wizard
1MA4The 3 biblical wise ♂, Latin plural
1MA5Hot fluid below Earth’s crust; lava before it’s erupted
2MA4,7Permanently injure
1MA4Primary (Street), adj.
1MA5Native American corn
2MA4,5♀ parent, slang
1MA7Adult ♂
2MA6,8Administer (she got promoted to …ment)
1MA4Hair on a horse or ♂ lion’s neck
1MA5Japanese graphic novels
1MA5Skin disease caused by mites, especially in dogs
1MA5Craze, noun (Beatle-…)
1MA5Exodus food from the sky
1MA4Puzzle or garden where you try to get to the center
3ME4,6,7The average in math, noun; unkind, adj. (“… Girls”); or intend (I didn’t … to do it)
1ME4Greek prefix for large, often used to mean 1 million
2ME4,6Viral internet funny image, noun/verb
2ME4,5Mediterranean appetizer platter
1ME9Intermediate floor between ground level & 1st, or lowest theater balcony
1MI4A person’s look or expression, NOT an average
2MI4,6Silent performer
2MI4,6Where you dig for ore, or anti-ship bomb
1MI4Smaller version (as in Cooper car), slang abbr.
1MI51/60 dram, UK music ½ note, or calligraphy short vertical stroke
3MI6,8,10Smallest amount (the … bet at this table is $100)
1MI6Rearmost sail & mast on a ship
2NA4,6What you’re called (Kevin or Susan, e.g.)

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