Bee Roots for 2024-01-12

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: B/ACKLOR
  • Words: 48
  • Points: 201
  • 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, ...)
1AB5Surprised (taken …), adv.
1AR5Tree garden; its “Day” is the last Friday in April in many places
1BA4Rum sponge cake, or Ali & his 40 thieves
1BA5Sweet braided Jewish bread, often with chocolate filling
1BA4Part of body containing your spine
1BA4Hesitate or be unwilling to accept an idea or undertaking; or illegal move by a pitcher in baseball
1BA4Where Cinderella lost her slipper, noun; or squeeze or form into a spherical shape, verb
1BA8Valve that automatically fills a tank after liquid has been drawn from it, compound
1BA6African tree
1BA4Sharp projection near end of fishhook or on top of wire fence; start of Streisand name
1BA7Bartender's assistant, compound
1BA8Mexican BBQ; origin of English word via Texas; starts with 1st 5 letters of “Jeannie” actress Eden name
1BA4Dog vocalization, or tree skin
1BA7Soldier’s lodging
1BL4Reveal a secret by indiscreet talk
1BL5Color that reflects no light; color of the 8-ball
1BL9Exclude from membership, usually by secret ballot, compound
1BL4Gelatinous mass, or 1950s alien horror film
1BL4Group of like-minded voters
1BL5large solid piece of hard material, especially rock, stone, or wood, typically with flat surfaces on each side, noun; or prevent from moving in a particular direction, verb
1BO4Wild pig
1BO4Taiwan sweet tea with gelatin pearls
1BO4Dark German lager, or chicken sound
1BO4Thrown weighted string weapon
1BO4Cotton seed target for weevil
1BO4Western string tie
1BO4Breast, slang
1BO6“Owie” you kiss & make better, mistake, or what 2 ghosts say
1BO4Printed novel, noun; or reserve something, verb
1BO8A framework, typically with rails or bars, for holding reading material, compound
1BO4Lout, NOT wild pig
1BR5Small stream, noun; or tolerate, verb
1CA5Secret political faction
1CA6Jewish mysticism; usually starts with K
1CA8Invitation to return for a second audition, compound
1CA4Bread starch avoided on many diets, slang abbr.
1CA5Tree or shrub whose pods are often used to make a chocolate substitute
1CO5Venomous snake with a hood
1CO6The act of working with someone to produce or create something, abbrev
1CO8Bound, printed recipes (e.g. Fanny Farmer’s), compound
1CR4Crustacean with claws & eye stalks
1KA5Meat on a skewer (shish …)
1LA5Hard work (manual…), or UK political party of Tony Blair (they add a U)
1LO4Wolf, Spanish
1LO8A collection of photographs compiled to show off a model, photographer, style, stylist, or clothing line, compound
1RO8Recorded phone message from an auto dialer, compound
1RO8Reduction, noun; or undo a change (such as a price increase or database transaction) verb/noun, compound pangram
1RO7Vehicle roof rod to protect against overturning, compound

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