Bee Roots for 2023-12-30

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: R/ACINOZ
  • Words: 40
  • Points: 160
  • Pangrams: 1
Source: L'Italo-Americano

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, ...)
1AC5Nut from an oak tree
1AR61 of 2 classes in a tarot pack (major & minor), a mystery or deep secret, or specialized knowledge, noun
1AR4Musically, “with the bow,” or gas brand
1AR4Opera solo
1AR6Yellow daisy used to treat bruises
1CA5Pile of commemorative stones, or terrier (dog) breed
1CA7Rio de Janeiro native
1CA7Decaying animal flesh
1CI5“Around” when used before a year, Latin
1CI5Cloud forming wispy streaks (“mare's tails”) at high altitude
1CO4Fiber from the outer husk of the coconut, used for making ropes & matting
1CO4Veg on a cob
1CO6Upper part of the sun's atmosphere
1CR6Scientific name for skull
1CR4Holey shoe, or alligator relative abbr.
1CR5Small plant that blooms early in spring
1CR5Hum or sing in a soft, low voice, especially in a sentimental manner (think Sinatra or Bublé)
2CZ4,7Title of a russian monarch
1IR4Element Fe (atomic number 26), or hot clothes presser, noun/verb
1IR6Wryly funny because it’s opposite to what’s expected (a fire station burns down, e.g,)
1NA4Drug cop, slang
1NA5Drug dealer, old-fashioned slang
1NO4“Black” in French; or dark mystery genre (film …)
1NO4Edible seaweed, eaten either fresh or dried in sheets
1OC7Small egg-shaped wind instrument
1OR4Killer “whale”
1OR4Pasta shaped like grains of barley or rice
1RA7Mammal with a mask
1RA4Liquid precipitation
1RA6Bitterness or resentfulness, especially when long-standing
1RA4Hindu queen, anagram of liquid precipitation
1RA5What you shave with
1RA4Tease someone, slang
1RI5Poison from castor beans, NOT a pilaf grain
1RO4Horse with 2–colored coat
1RO4Lion “shout”
1RO6Ornamental decorative style from the late Baroque
2ZI6,8Crystal that is the main source of element Zr (atomic number 40)

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