Bee Roots for 2024-01-11

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/AGIKNP
  • Words: 52
  • Points: 209
  • Pangrams: 1
Source: 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, ...)
1AG6How old you are, noun; or grow older, verb; or period of history, noun
1AG5Stare open-mouthed
1AP5Sleep breathing disorder
1EG6What baby birds hatch from, noun; or throw those things at a house or car, verb; or encourage someone to do something, usually something dumb, verb
1EK5Scrape out (a living or a win, e.g.)
2EN6,8Commit to marry (with an …-ment ring)
1EN6Car motor
1EP4Fencing sword
1GA4Stare open-mouthed
1GA4Measuring dial (fuel …)
2GE4,7Enthusiast or expert (computer or band …), noun; or act like one, verb
1GE4DNA sequence that determines traits, or singing cowboy Autry
1GE5Lives in a lamp, grants wishes
1GE5Someone who is exceptionally intelligent or creative
1IN5Stupid, silly, ridiculous (… questions or comments); adj.
1IN5Concave belly button, slang
2KE4,7Eager (peachy-…), adj.; or wail in grief, verb
2KE4,7Retain (an item)
1KE4Flat-topped French military hat that de Gaulle wore
2KN4,7Mid-leg joint, noun; or hit someone with one, verb
1NA7Yellowish cotton cloth or pants made from it, named for city in China
1NA4Scruff of the neck
1NE4Tide with least difference between low & high water
1NE4Hawaiian goose & state bird
1NI4Number of justices on Supreme Court
1NI7Bowling variation with 1 target less than standard; compound
1PA5Song of praise or triumph
1PA4Book leaf, noun; or summon with a beeper or announcement, verb
1PA4Single sheet of window glass
2PE4,7Mountaintop, noun; or reach a highest point (the song …-ed at number 3), gerund form is a pangram
1PE6Urinate, slang
2PE4,7Quick furtive look (…-a-boo baby game), not mountaintop
1PE4Backside of a hammer
2PE4,7Baby bird sound, Easter marshmallow, or a furtive look
1PE7short cylindrical piece of wood for holding things together, noun/verb
1PE4Chinese toy dog, slang abbr., not mountaintop
1PE7Tool for writing with ink, noun/verb; or small enclosure for keeping animals, noun/verb
1PE5Tube pasta, vodka optional
1PE7Energy, liveliness, noun/verb
1PI6Messy Peanuts boy, or where oinkers live, compound
1PI4“Star Trek” Enterprise captain (Christopher) before Kirk, pointy stick weapon, or “highway” slang abbr.
1PI4Evergreen tree with cones, noun; or to long for, verb
1PI6Little finger
1PI4Copper or plastic tube that carries water, noun; or to move liquid in one, verb; decorate a cake with icing

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