Bee Roots for 2023-12-23

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/CHLPRY
  • Words: 48
  • Points: 149
  • Pangrams: 1
Source: Apartment Therapy

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, ...)
1CH11Green or red pigment responsible for photosynthesis
2CH4,6Cut into pieces (… suey)
1CL4Sound of a horse’s hooves on a hard surface
1CL4Sicken with sweetness
1CO4Silver Pacific salmon
1CO5Red, green, blue, purple, etc.
2CO4,6“Warm” antonym, or “neat!”
1CO4Chicken pen, noun; or confine in a small space, verb (…ed up)
1CO4Reproduce, or reproduction (Xerox)
1CO5Reluctant to give details, especially about something regarded as sensitive
1CR4Holey shoe, or alligator relative abbr.
1CR4Plant grown for profit, noun; or cut off the edges of a picture, verb
1HO5Shrub used for wreaths, or actor Hunter
1HO5Cheap liquor
1HO4O you jump through or spin around your waist (hula …)
1HO5Having the flavor or aroma of Humulus lupulus
1HO6Scary Steven King genre
1HY4Slang abbr. for medical needle (-dermic)
1LO4Scottish body of water where Nessie lives
1LO4Crazy, Spanish
1LO4Hang out or droop, as a dog’s tongue
1LO6Move in an ungainly way in a series of clumsy paces or bounds
2LO4,5Closed curve
1LO5“Truck” in Britspeak
1PH6Very thin middle Eastern pastry dough
1PL4Sound of Alka–Seltzer before the fizz
1PL4Cunning ruse
1PO4Opinion survey, homophone of above (straw, Gallup, e.g.)
1PO4Croquet on horseback
1PO5Small growth on a stalk (in your colon, e.g.)
1PO5Dog, slang (don’t screw the …)
1PO4Christopher Robbins’ Winnie The … Bear
1PO4Swimming venue
1PO4Tire out (I’m …-ed); or defecate, slang verb/noun
2PO4,6Lacking $, or worse than ideal
1PO5Flower used to make opium or honor veterans
1PO5Covered shelter projecting in front or behind a building
1PR4Support (… up), verb; on-stage object or ballot initiative abbr., noun
1PY4“…-maniac” who likes to start fires, slang abbr.
1RO6Ornamental decorative style from the late Baroque
1RO4What you do to dice, verb; or Tootsie candy & small bread format, noun
1RO4Strong cord made by twisting together strands of fibers, noun/verb
1YO6“Hey, over here!” exclamation, or chocolate drink brand

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