Bee Roots for 2024-01-08

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/ILNOTZ
  • Words: 53
  • Points: 320
  • Pangrams: 4

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, ...)
1AI5Garlic mayonnaise, from French for garlic
1AL5Apportion $ or other resource (time, e.g.)
1AL4Sax smaller than a tenor, or voice higher than one
1AL4Illumination, noun/verb (Let there be …)
1AN5Yearly record book
1AN6Ceremonially smear someone with oil, or designate as a successor
1AN4Soon, poetically
1AN4Opposed to (prefix), NOT uncle’s wife nickname
1AN4Opening at the end of the alimentary canal through which solid waste matter leaves the body, adj. form also means uptight
1AN5Atom or molecule with a net electric charge
1AN10Write something, for example music, in a specialized system; or write comments in the margins of a book
1AT5Coral island (Bikini, e.g.)
1AT6Succeed in getting, or reach; verb (… nirvana), noun form is a pangram
1AT5Move into a sloping position, or fight windmills (… at)
1AT6Character of sound, a sound (dial or ring-); noun; give greater strength or firmness to a body or a muscle; verb
2IN7,14First (letter, as in J.R.R. Tolkien)
1IN10Cause to begin, or admit into a secret society; verb; or novice, noun
1IN10Character of sound, a sound (dial or ring-); noun; give greater strength or firmness to a body or a muscle; verb
1IO10Atom or molecule with a net electric charge
1IO49th Greek letter, I; or extremely small amount
1LA5Hawaiian island or porch
1LA7Sheep (wool) oil, used as skin moisturizer
1LA7Tropical perennial flowering plant in the verbena family
1LA4Put something down
1LI11Roaring animal that travels in a pride (… King)
1LL5South American grassy plain
1LO4Borrowed $, noun/verb
1NA4Indiaan flaat breaad
1NA4Spike that’s hammered, noun/verb
1NA4Grandma, slang; or Peter Pan dog
1NA5Latin adj. relating to place or time of birth
1NA6Swimming or floating adj. from Latin
3NA6,8,15Country, or temperance activist Carrie
1NO8Write something, for example music, in a specialized system; or write comments in the margins of a book
1NO8Vague idea, or small sewing accessory
1TA4Dogs wag this hind appendage
1TA5Smear of corruption or pollution, noun/verb
1TA4Of greater than average height, adj.
1TA6Fringed prayer shawl
1TA5A bird of prey's claw
1TA4Ankle bone
1TA6Brown chemical in tea & wine used to preserve leather, noun
1TA13Excite someone's senses or desires
1TA6Skin “ink”
1TI5Pre-Olympic god, largest Saturn moon, or industry bigwig
1TI11Stimulate or excite, especially in a sexual way
1TO5Character of sound, a sound (dial or ring-); noun; give greater strength or firmness to a body or a muscle; verb
1TO5The whole amount (sum of numbers, e.g.)
1ZI6Sunflower within the daisy family (what other flower starts with Z?)
1ZO5An area with a particular purpose, noun; divide an area into parts with designated purposes, verb (residential …)

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