Bee Roots for 2024-01-18

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: P/AEGHMO
  • Words: 27
  • Points: 76
  • 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
1AP6Climax, or furthest point of moon’s orbit
1EP4Fencing sword
1GA4Stare open-mouthed
1GO4Gwyneth Paltrow’s brand, or unpleasant messy gel
1HE4Stack in a disorderly pile, verb/noun
1HE4Cannabis plant, or the fiber from it used to make rope
1HO8Default web browser start site, compound pangram
1HO4O you jump through or spin around your waist (hula …)
1HO4Fervently wish (I … it doesn’t rain today)
1MO4Sulk, brood; verb, past tense is also a bicycle with a small motor
1OO6Rhythmic sound of deep-toned brass instruments; close to Willie Wonka workers’ name start
1OO5Enthusiasm, slang (imitative of sound made during exertion) (extra …)
1PA4Book leaf, noun; or summon with a beeper or announcement, verb
1PA5S Am treeless grassland
1PA4Father, slang
1PE4Baby bird sound, Easter marshmallow, or a furtive look
1PH5Virus that attacks bacteria
1PO4Verse that usually rhymes, from Frost et al.
1PO4Bouncy “stick”, noun/verb
1PO4Botany term for apple or pear (think French)
1PO4Ceremonial public display (Elgar’s “… & Circumstance March” at graduations)
1PO6Cheerleader accessory
1PO4Christopher Robbins’ Winnie The … Bear
1PO4Tire out (I’m …-ed); or defecate, slang verb/noun
1PO4Francis, Pius, etc. (head of Roman Catholic Church)

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