Bee Roots for 2024-01-13

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/EGLMPX
  • Words: 61
  • Points: 207
  • 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, ...)
1AG5Stare open-mouthed
1AG6Shine brightly, especially with reflected light, verb/noun
3AL4,5,5Pond scum
1AL6Claim without proof
1AL6(Bio term) 1 of 2 or more versions of a gene
1AM7Mixture or blend (Ag/Hg dental fillings, e.g.)
1AM5Plentiful, adj. (her … bosom)
1AP4Highest part of something, especially one forming a point
1AP6Horrify (his tasteless jokes … me)
2AP6,8Ask for a court ruling to be reversed, verb/noun
1AP51 of these fruits a day keeps the doctor away
1AX4Figure skating jump
1AX4What your car's wheels are attached to
1EA5A bald one is the USA's national bird
1EX4Test, especially a medical test or a large test at the midpoint or end of a semester
1EX7Something that illustrates a general rule
1GA4Super enthusiastic; Biden inauguration National Anthem singer
1GA6A “herd” of geese
1GA4Formal ball or fundraiser (The Met …, e.g.)
1GA4Strong wind storm
1GA4Liver secretion, or bold behavior
1GA4Competitive form of play (poker, soccer, Scrabble, etc.)
1GA5Γ, γ (3rd Greek letter), & shortest-length EM radiation (… rays)
1GA4Stare open-mouthed
1GA4Measuring dial (fuel …)
1GL4Movie star beauty & style; or women’s magazine, British spelling is a pangram
1GL5Shine brightly, especially with reflected light, verb/noun
1LA4Tibetan Buddhist monk (Dalai …)
1LA4Disabled or weak; esp. foot or leg, causing a limp
1LA4Illuminating device
1LA5Jacket edge that’s folded back
1LE4Forceful jump (of faith?), noun/verb
1LE5Law adj. (not forbidden by law)
1LE5Math term for intermediate or helping theorem in a proof
1LL5S Am camel
1MA4Literary term for a wizard
1MA5Hot fluid below Earth’s crust; lava before it’s erupted
1MA4♂, the sex that produces sperm
1MA4Shopping center with many stores under one roof
2MA4,5♀ parent, slang
1MA6Vertebrate class that has hair, milk, & live birth
1MA5Tree with sap used for syrup
1ME4Breakfast, lunch, or dinner
1ME4Greek prefix for large, often used to mean 1 million
1ME8Lots of movie theaters under one roof, pangram
1PA6Spanish rice, saffron, chicken, and seafood dish
1PA4Book leaf, noun; or summon with a beeper or announcement, verb
1PA6Traditional Mexican shelter roofed with palm leaves or branches, esp. on a beach, noun
1PA4White-faced, NOT a bucket
1PA4Figurative dark cloud, or funeral "bearer"
1PA4Underside of hand, or coconut tree
1PA4Arthropod antenna for touch & taste, or start of medical exam by touch term
1PA5S Am treeless grassland
1PA4Father, slang
1PA5Pontiff adj.
1PE4Repeated bell ringing or laughter
1PL4Urgent request (Mercy!), or court statement of guilt or innocence

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