Bee Roots for 2024-01-17

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/DILNVY
  • Words: 52
  • Points: 231
  • Pangrams: 1
Source: Perfect Peter Wright

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, ...)
1AL5Put (fears) at rest
1AL4Friend (person, country) who joins you for a common purpose in a conflict, noun/verb
1AN5Yearly record book
2AN4,6Opening at the end of the alimentary canal through which solid waste matter leaves the body, adj. form also means uptight
1AN5Heavy block for metalworking (… Chorus from Verdi's Il Trovatore)
1AV5Make use of (… yourself of), or use (to no …)
1AV5Bird-related adj. (… Flu, e.g.)
2AV4,6Eager for or enthusisatic about (… reader)
1DA5Papa (… long legs, sugar …)
1DA5Move slowly, or have casual sex with
2DA5,7Fop, or foppish (“Yankee Doodle …” Cagney film)
1DA524-hour period
1DA7Monet’s fav flower, one that lasts only 24 hrs.
1DI4What you turn on a rotary phone or radio knob (don't touch that …!)
1DI10Waste time (compound)
1DI4Famous female opera singer; self-important person who is temperamental and difficult to please
1DI5Long low sofa without a back or arms
1DY4Something that consists of 2 parts, from Greek (Kylo Ren & Rey, e.g.)
1IN6Not on the coast
2IN5,6Decorate something by embedding pieces of a different material in it, flush with its surface
2IN7,9Having a sound basis in logic or fact; legally binding
1LA4♀ counterpart of gentleman ("… & the Tramp")
1LA5Hawaiian island or porch
1LA4Alight on the ground, verb/noun
1LA8♀ who owns your apartment, compound
1LA4Molten rock from a volcano
2LA4,4Put something down
1NA4Indiaan flaat breaad
1NA4Nothing, Spanish
1NA5Greek water nymph, or dragonfly larva
1NA4Spike that’s hammered, noun/verb
1NA4Grandma, slang; or Peter Pan dog
1NA5♀ goat, or nursemaid
1NA5Seafaring military force, adj., not belly button
1NA4Seafaring military force, or dark blue color
2VA4,6Conceited (Carly Simon “You’re So …”)
2VA5,7Having a sound basis in logic or fact; legally binding
1VA6Person who deliberately destroys or damages property (named for a Germanic people that sacked Rome)
2VA7,8Flavor from beans of white (plain …) ice cream + chemical compound of that flavor, C₈H₈O₃
1VI4Small glass container (… of poison), NOT despicable
1VI5Large & luxurious country house (Roman …)
2VI7,8Bad guy in a story

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