Bee Roots for 2024-01-22

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: F/ADEKLN
  • Words: 35
  • Points: 152
  • 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, ...)
1AL7Grass for hay, or Little Rascal
3DE4,6,8Unable to hear
2DE6,8Resist an attack or protect from harm
2FA4,5Gradually become faint
2FA4,5Phony, noun/verb
1FA7Fried chickpea balls often served in pita
2FA4,6Autumn, noun; or plummet, verb
1FA6Device, manual or electrical, that moves air for cooling or drying, noun/verb; enthusiastic supporter of a sports team
1FE4Give a meal to
1FE4Perceive by touch; or experience (emotion)
2FE4,6Cut or knock down (a tree or opponent, e.g.)
1FE5♂, slang (young or little …)
2FE4,6Look after & provide for oneself, without any help from others
1FE6Veg & seed used in cooking, esp. Italian
1FL4Anti-aircraft fire (the bomber pilots wore … jackets)
2FL5,6Small, flat, thin piece of something (Corn …s); or unreliable, eccentric person, noun/verb, gerund form is a pangram
1FL4Caramel-topped custard
2FL5,7Side of an animal's body between the ribs and the hip; or a side of an army or navy, noun/verb, gerund form is a pangram
1FL7Soft-woven fabric, typically made of wool or cotton and slightly milled and raised; stereotypical Canadian shirt is made of this
1FL4Hopping insect whose bites cause itching in dogs & cats
2FL4,4Run away from danger, NOT a bug that causes itching
1LA8Arrival at someplace dry after being at sea, compound made from opposite of sea + plummet
2LE4,6Nissan electric car; 4 of these on a clover is lucky

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