Bee Roots for 2024-01-02

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/BEILPW
  • Words: 46
  • Points: 154
  • Pangrams: 1

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, ...)
1BE5Fast jazz style (“Cowboy …” anime series)
1BE6Make a roaring shout; singular of “I Dream of Jeannie” doc
1BE5Underneath (“Look out …!”)
1BI6Fill with air & swell outward (skirt, smoke, steam, clouds)
1BL4Gelatinous mass, or 1950s alien horror film
1BL5Electronic tone similar to profanity cover sound; or mistake (usually with –ER); or a weakly hit fly ball in baseball that is too high for the infielders and too short for the outfielders
1BL4What the wind does, or what you do to extinguish birthday candles
1BL8Weapon for shooting poison darts with breath; or tube for keeping a Scottish instrument full of air, compound pangram
1BO6Type of “head” doll that nods when moved
1BO4Heat water to 212°F or 100°C
1BO4Cotton seed target for weevil
1BO4Western string tie
1BO4Breast, slang
1BO6“Owie” you kiss & make better, mistake, or what 2 ghosts say
1BO5(Usually plural) intestine, or the deepest area of something
1BO4Dish for cereal & soup, noun; or trying to knock down pins in an alley
1BO6Rhyming compound bark of a cartoon dog
1EL5Arm joint, or macaroni shape
1EL5Run away to marry
1LI4Fat-sucking procedure, abbr.
1LO4Brain section, or part of ear most commonly pierced
1LO4Wolf, Spanish
1LO4Hang out or droop, as a dog’s tongue
1LO8Hard candy on a stick
1LO6Move in an ungainly way in a series of clumsy paces or bounds
1LO4Closed curve
1LO4Run like a wolf, with bounding strides
1OB4Double reed orchestra-tuning instrument
1OL4Mixture, or spicy Spanish stew, NOT margarine
1OL5Skateboard jump, or Stan’s slapstick partner
1PE6Humanity, or celeb mag with annual “sexiest man”
1PI6Where you put your head at bedtime
1PL4Sound of Alka–Seltzer before the fizz
1PL4Farm implement for cutting furrows; or truck attachment for removing snow, noun/verb
1PO4What a firefighter slides down
1PO5Disease that put FDR in a wheelchair
1PO4Opinion survey, homophone of above (straw, Gallup, e.g.)
1PO4Croquet on horseback
1PO4Swimming venue
1PO4Tire out (I’m …-ed); or defecate, slang verb/noun
1PO4Francis, Pius, etc. (head of Roman Catholic Church)
1PO6North American Indian ceremony involving feasting, singing and dancing
1WI6“Weeping” tree, or 1988 Val Kilmer fantasy film
1WO6Teeter, as an uneven table
1WO4Warm, itchy knitted fabric made from sheep hair, noun/adj.

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