Bee Roots for 2024-01-07

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: E/ACHILM
  • Words: 47
  • Points: 165
  • 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
1AC4Peak; or where Wile E. Coyote orders his supplies
1AH4Throat-clearing, attention-getting sound
1AL6(Bio term) 1 of 2 or more versions of a gene
1CA5Hidden stockpile, or computer temp memory storage to speed access
1CA5Humped desert animal
1CA8Flowering Asian shrubs or trees; primary tea source
1CA4Travel toward a particular place, tell your dog to move toward you, or slang for “to orgasm”
1CE6Gluten intolerance disease
1CE4Prison “room,” or smallest unit of an organism
1CE5Yo-Yo Ma’s instrument (also Pablo Casals')
1CH7Large cup or goblet, typically used for drinking wine
1CH8Substance produced in a lab (“My … Romance” rock band), pangram noun
1CH6Milky latex of the sapodilla tree, used to make chewing gum & start of a square gum brand name
1CH5Percussion instrument or its sound (I find a tinkling wind … to be annoying), noun
1CL6Phrasé that’s overused
1CL5Literary term for a region with ref. to prevailing weather (sunny …, e.g.), NOT scale a ladder
1EA4Every one, pronoun; or apiece, adv.
1EM5Letter sent via the internet (with Outlook?), noun/verb
1EM5Master of Ceremonies (sounded-out initials), slang noun/verb
1HA4Strong, well, fit (… & hearty); or Revolutionary War patriot Nathan
1HE4Recover from injury
1HE4Back of your foot (Achilles’ weakness), noun; or (of a dog) follow closely
1HE8Relating to or near the sun
1HE7Spiral or corkscrew shape (DNA is a double …)
1HE4Satan’s domain
1HE4Ship steering wheel, steer a ship, or Medieval protective hat
1HE4Iron-containing biological compound (in blood, e.g.)
1IC6Frozen water spear formed from drips
1LA4Frilly fabric, or shoestring
1LA4Disabled or weak; esp. foot or leg, causing a limp
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
1LE5Math term for intermediate or helping theorem in a proof
1LI4Itchy hair parasites
1LI4Small green citrus fruit
1MA4Self-defense pepper spray, staff, or spice from a nutmeg
1MA4♂, the sex that produces sperm
1MA6Desire to do evil (Paul Newman “Absence of …” film)
1ME4Breakfast, lunch, or dinner
1ME5Holiest city in Islam, or place of attraction (shopping …)
1ME5Confusing scuffle
1ME4Viral internet funny image, noun/verb
1MI43 blind rodents in rhyme
1MI45,280 feet, or 1.6 km
1MI4Silent performer

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