Bee Roots for 2024-01-16

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: C/EIKLNT
  • Words: 38
  • Points: 211
  • Pangrams: 2

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, ...)
1CE4Prison “room,” or smallest unit of an organism
1CE5Yo-Yo Ma’s instrument (also Pablo Casals')
1CE41/100th of a dollar
1CI4Quote as evidence
1CL5What you do to a web button or link, verb; or NPR “Car Talk” guy 1; the quality of allowing this is a pangram
1CL6Medical facility (health …)
1CL5Sound of glasses tapping for a toast, noun/verb, not Hogan's Heroes Colonel
1EC8Wide-ranging tastes, styles, or ideas; adj.
2EL5,7Vote into office
1EL6Draw out a response, verb
1EN6Tempt or lure by offering pleasure or advantage
1IC6Frozen water spear formed from drips
1IL7Not forbidden by law or custom
1IN6Provoke unlawful behavior (… a riot)
1IN7Tend toward or feel favorably disposed toward, verb; or slope, noun
1IN9Brains, faculty of reasoning & understanding objectively; or a smart person
1KI4Strike with foot, verb/noun
1KI7Relating to motion (… energy), adj.
1LE8Merciful, not strict (as a judge or parent, e.g.)
1LI4Itchy hair parasites
1LI5Not forbidden by law or custom
1LI4Tongue off (as an ice cream cone, e.g.), verb/noun
1LI10Young quahog, compound pangram
1NE4Body part between head & torso, noun; or kiss & caress amorously, slang verb
1NE8Top edge of a garment (plunging …), compound
1NE7Often colorful & patterned shirt accessory worn with a suit, compound
1NI4Pleasant in manner; or city in SE France
1NI4Small cut from shaving, or Santa name (Old Saint …), noun/verb
1NI6Element 28, or a 5¢ coin
1NI5Your sibling’s daughter
1TE11Able to move objects with your mind, pangram adj.
1TI4Bloodsucking arachnid that transmits Lyme disease, or mechanical clock sound; noun/verb
1TI6Entry card for events & travel, or illegal parking citation
1TI6Lightly touch in a way that causes itching and often laughter
1TI5Archaic for shade of color, seen now only in “–URE of iodine”

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