Bee Roots for 2023-12-24

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: P/ADEHIN
  • Words: 59
  • Points: 302
  • Pangrams: 3

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, ...)
1AP4Large primate without a tail, including gorilla, chimpanzees, and orangutans, noun/verb
1AP5Garden pest (insect)
1AP5Bee-related adj.
1AP5Sleep breathing disorder
2AP6,8Tack on supplemental material; ends in list word
1DA6Fish by letting the fly bob lightly on the water
1DA6Small Eurasian shrub with sweet-scented flowers & evergreen leaves, or “Danger–Prone” Scooby Doo teen
2DE7,10Say something funny with a straight face
3DE4,6,8Not shallow
2DE6,8Rely on, or singular of adult diaper brand
1DI6Put something down quickly into liquid, verb; or brief swim, noun
1EP4Fencing sword
1HE6Body part that holds your brain, eyes, ears, nose and mouth
1HE7In bowling, the target closest to you, compound
1HE4Stack in a disorderly pile, verb/noun
1HI6Typical Woodstock attendee, 1960s counterculture member
1NA6Brief period of sleep during the day
1NA4Scruff of the neck
1NE4Tide with least difference between low & high water
1NI7Bowling variation with 1 target less than standard; compound
1NI6Pinch, squeeze, or bite sharply, verb/noun
1PA6Thick piece of soft material used to cushion something, noun/verb
1PA5Song of praise or triumph
2PA4,6Sensation from an injury, noun/verb
1PA6Something you cook food in, noun; try to find gold in a stream, verb; something a critic loves to do, verb
1PA5Chinese bamboo-eating bear
2PA4,5Single sheet of window glass
1PA6Toasted Italian sandwich
1PA4Father, slang
1PA4Give $ in exchange for goods or services, verb/noun
1PE6♀ of a bird with showy plumage)
1PE4Urinate, slang
1PE4Backside of a hammer
2PE4,6Baby bird sound, Easter marshmallow, or a furtive look
1PE6Tool for writing with ink, noun/verb; or small enclosure for keeping animals, noun/verb
2PE4,6Literally, to hang; to await (a decision); usually has –ING suffix
1PE5Tube pasta, vodka optional
1PE6Energy, liveliness, noun/verb
1PI4Multicolored (… Piper of Hamelin)
1PI6Thin piece of metal with a sharp point at one end, used especially for securing fabric, noun/verb
2PI4,5Evergreen tree with cones, noun; or to long for, verb
2PI7,9Stupid or foolish person, compound
1PI8Scientific name for seals (“feather-footed” in Latin)
2PI4,5Copper or plastic tube that carries water, noun; or to move liquid in one, verb; decorate a cake with icing
1PI6Fosse musical about Charlemagne’s son, or apple variety

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