Bee Roots for 2024-01-23

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: T/CHIKOP
  • Words: 31
  • Points: 138
  • Pangrams: 1
Source: Wikipedia

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, ...)
1CH4IOU note, Navy memo
1CO7Pilot area of a plane, compound
1CO7Range that’s either part of an oven or built into a counter, compound
1CO5Usually hyphenated verb: take for your own use or for another purpose
1CO4Foolish old ♂, or water bird
1HI5“Psycho” director Alfred nickname, or slang for thumb a ride, verb; or device on a vehicle that allows it to attach a trailer, noun
1HO4Owl sound, noun/verb
1HO6Asian dish similar to fondue; AKA steamboat, compound
1IT4What you scratch (an …)
1KI4Close friends, archaic (… & kin)
1OC6Aquatic animal with eight arms
1OP5Relating to the eye (… nerve), med. adj.
1PH6Light-related, adj. (ocean “zone” lit by sun)
1PH5Picture made using a camera: short form is more common in the Bee, long form is a pangram
1PH8Medical adj. for vision under well-lit conditions (not compound, but looks like two words for camera picture pasted together)
1PI5One of a series of small ornamental loops forming an edge on ribbon or lace
1PI5Ground-dwelling bird that wags its tail & is named for its song
1PI5Throw a baseball towards home plate; advocate for a business deal
1PI4White layer under citrus fruit rind, or essence
1PO7Implement to hang a cooking pa, compound
1TH5Wide (slices of bread, e.g.), adj. (verb form is a pangram)
1TI4Bloodsucking arachnid that transmits Lyme disease, or mechanical clock sound; noun/verb
1TI8Compound word that is both parts of a mechanical clock sound
1TI4Polynesian or Maori god, or Polynesian style (… bar or torch, Kon-… raft)
1TI6Rhyming compound adj. that means “of the very best quality” (in … condition), compound
1TO4Reach for and hold; remove (… away)
1TO42nd half of a timepiece sound
1TO4Short horn sound; noun/verb
1TO5What you chew with
1TO9Stick for spearing food or removing it from between your pearly whites, compound pangram
1TO5Subject of a discussion (his ears must have been burning because he was the current … of conversation)

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