Bee Roots for 2024-01-03

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: H/ACEGLN
  • Words: 27
  • Points: 120
  • 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, ...)
1AC4Muscle, heart, tooth, or tummy dull pain
1CA5Hidden stockpile, or computer temp memory storage to speed access
1CH7Jewish Sabbath braided egg bread
1CH9Dispute the validity of (…the election result), or invite to a contest (I … you to a duel), pangram
1CH6Possibility (there’s a small …) or serendipity (they met by …); or take a risk, verb
1CH7Space around a church altar
1CH6Make something different (… your mind, … your clothes), or loose coins (spare …)
1CH7TV station number on a knob (CBS is 2 in NYC & LA) or strait (swim across the English …), noun/verb, past tense is a pangram
1CL6Close fingers into a tight ball (fist), or contract muscles (buttocks, jaw), gerund form is a pangram
1EA4Every one, pronoun; or apiece, adv.
1EN7Intensify, increase, or improve (do this to your driver’s license so it meets new TSA rules)
1GA7Chocolate & cream icing
1GH4Indian clarified butter
1HA6Dispute or bargain persistently, especially over the cost of something
1HA5Kosher in Islam
1HA4Strong, well, fit (… & hearty); or Revolutionary War patriot Nathan
1HA4Corridor, or Let’s Make a Deal’s Monty
1HA4What you do to a painting you want to mount on a wall, or to a criminal sentenced to the gallows
1HE4Recover from injury
1HE4Back of your foot (Achilles’ weakness), noun; or (of a dog) follow closely
1HE4Satan’s domain
1HE5Consequently, or in the future (…forth)
1HE5Prehistoric circular monument (Stone…)
1HE5Hair or temp. tattoo dye
1LE5Dissolve out by percolating liquid, verb; or “Lifestyles of the Rich & Famous” host Robin
1LE4Womanizer, derogatory slang abbr., or former Polish president Wałęsa
1LE5Bloodsucking worm, noun; habitually exploit or rely on, verb, gerund form is a pangram

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