Bee Roots for 2024-01-01

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: A/HMNORY
  • Words: 50
  • Points: 193
  • Pangrams: 1
Source: By Nafis Ameen - Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, 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, ...)
1AH4Nautical greeting (“… there, matey!”)
1AM4A supply of bullets, slang abbreviation
1AN5Irritate, vex, irk
1AN4Soon, poetically
1AN6Informal, humorous subject-changer after an interruption or diversion; compound
2AR5,6Protective covering against weapons (suit of …)
1AR4Military land force, Navy football rival
1AR5Pleasant smell (baking bread, e.g.)
1AR5Ordered series, esp. math
1AR6Steep-sided gully in SW US; Spanish for creek
1HA5Meat from a pig, often served on holidays
1HA5Forbidden by Islamic law
1HA4Physical injury, especially if deliberately inflicted, noun/verb
1HA7Opposite of dissonance, pangram
1HA5UK ginger prince wed to Meghan
2HO4,5Crystallized frost
1HO8High respect/great esteem; noun/verb
1HO6US Marine cheer word, each syllable pronounced separately
1HO6Cheer word (hip hip …)
1HO4Jewish circle dance (“The …”)
1HY7Book of songs of praise to a deity
2MA4,5♀ parent, slang
1MA7Milk-producing gland
1MA6Wealth that’s an evil influence, per the New Testament & Milton
1MA5Exodus food from the sky
1MA5Large country house with lands (Batman’s “Stately Wayne …”)
1MA4More than a few (… people are saying)
1MA4Old-timey schoolteacher honorific
1MA6Dark red (Adam Levine’s “… 5” band), noun; or strand on an island, verb
1MA5Wed, verb
1MA4Hellman’s sandwich spread, slang abbr.
1MA5Top city elected official
1MO5♀ parent, slang
1MO4Sound of pain or sexual pleasure (Harry Potter’s ghost “…-ing Myrtle”)
1MO5Eel-like predatory fish that hides in crevices
2MY4,5Talking starling that’s often a pet
1NA4Indiaan flaat breaad
1NA4Grandma, slang; or Peter Pan dog
1NA5♀ goat, or nursemaid
1NA4Dialectic negation (I survived with … a scratch)
1RA5Synthetic fabric from cellulose
1RO4Wander, or use your phone on another network
1RO4Horse with 2–colored coat
1RO4Lion “shout”
1YA5Exclamation ("I’m rich!"), or Web portal & search engine before Google!
1YA4Knitting thread, or wild story

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