Bee Roots for 2023-12-27

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: T/ACHMPU
  • Words: 30
  • Points: 108
  • Pangrams: 1
Source: Wikipedia

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, ...)
1AT6Fasten 2 things together
1CA7Type blurry letters into it to show you’re not a robot
1CA5Intercept & hold (a fish, a thrown ball, e.g.)
1CA7meeting to find out what's happened lately, compound made from intercept & hold + opposite of down; or alternate spelling for a tomato-based condiment
1CH4Informal conversation, noun or verb (online … room, group …)
1CU5Class clown, slang; or audio or video made from pieces of existing media, compound
1HA5Emerge from an egg, verb
1HA4Archaic 3rd person singular present form of "possess" (Hell … no fury)
1HA5Yoga type that pairs poses with breathing
1HU5Rabbit cage, or open cabinet with shelves
1MA7Indian honorific (… Gahdhi), or rice brand
1MA5Tennis or boxing contest, noun; or agree in color (does my tie … my shirt?), verb
1MA6Ground Japanese green tea leaves; also flavors sweets
1MA7Contest between athletes or sports teams, compound pangram
1MA4Addition/subtraction/multiplication/division subject abbr.
1MU4Mixed-breed dog, slang
1PA4Formal agreement, treaty (don’t make one with the Devil)
1PA5Temp fix for hole in bike tire or trouser knee
1PA4Walking or bike trail
1PH4“Excellent” in hip-hop slang, NOT obese
1PU4Hit a golf ball gently on the green
1TA4Dashboard engine RPM gauge abbr.
1TA4Diplomacy, sensitivity
1TA4Pack down (start of Florida city on a bay)
1TA4Spanish bar snack (usually plural)
1TA4Not slack, as a rope, adj.
1TH4Pronoun for the other thing (this & …)
1TH6Straw roof covering
1TH5Heavy dull blow with a fist or blunt instrument, noun/verb; or defeat decisively, slang (Bambi's rabbit buddy …er)
1TU4Ballet skirt, or S Afr Bishop Desmond

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