Bee Roots for 2024-01-24

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: N/ADIOPR
  • Words: 52
  • Points: 231
  • Pangrams: 2
Source: Midwest Radio

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, ...)
1AD5Decorate (… with) (Xmas tree, e.g.)
1AN7Metal support for fireplace wood (firedog)
1AN7Non–Apple phone OS, or humanoid robot (do they dream of electric sheep?)
1AN4Soon, poetically
1AN5Atom or molecule with a net electric charge
1AP5Bee-related adj.
1AP5Sleeveless kitchen smock
1DA4Mild exclamation; or mend holes in socks, verb
1DI5Arab $, not supper
1DI4Flintstones pet, or T. Rex family abbr.
1DO5Someone who gives (blood, organs, $)
1DR5What sink water goes down
1IN6Not outside
1IN6Progress (make), usually plural noun, contains street synonym
1IR4Element Fe (atomic number 26), or hot clothes presser, noun/verb
1NA4Indiaan flaat breaad
1NA4Nothing, Spanish
1NA5Lowest point, rock-bottom, depths; or below the observer in astronomy
1NA5Greek water nymph, or dragonfly larva
1NA4Grandma, slang; or Peter Pan dog
1NO4“Black” in French; or dark mystery genre (film …)
1NO412:00, midday, 🕛
1NO4Edible seaweed, eaten either fresh or dried in sheets
1NO7Give $ in exchange for goods or services, verb/noun
1ON5Veg that makes you cry when cut (for some, this is the "dreaded root veg")
1OP7Belief or judgment (In my humble …)
1OR6Make someone a priest
1PA4Sensation from an injury, noun/verb
1PA5Chinese bamboo-eating bear
1PA6Toasted Italian sandwich
2PA8,8“They’re out to get me!” noun (adj. form is a pangram)
1PA6“Excuse me,” or crime forgiveness from Pres. or Gov.
1PI5Liberace’s instrument (also Billy Joel's and John Legend's, not to mention Chopin, Liszt, Rachmaninoff, Clara Schumann, Vladimir Horowitz, Arthur Rubinstein, and Glenn Gould)
1PI6Part of bird wing, or small gear engaging with large one (as in “rack & …” steering)
1PI6Fosse musical about Charlemagne’s son, or apple variety
1PO4Small lake, or “On Golden…” Henry & Jane Fonda film with Hepburn
2PO4,5Smutty images
1PR5Protein particle thought to cause mad cow disease
1RA6Unit of angular measure
1RA5Harmful gas that seeps into homes; atomic no. 86
1RA4Liquid precipitation
1RA8Single unit of above (they “Keep Falling on My Head”), compound pangram
1RA4Kirk’s Yeoman Janice on Star Trek, or South African $
1RA5Slang for odd or suspicious person (short for chosen by chance)
1RA4Hindu queen, anagram of liquid precipitation
1RA6Broccoli rabe
1RI4Tough outer skin of certain fruit, especially citrus
1RI8(Legal) relating to or situated on the banks of a river
1RO4Horse with 2–colored coat
1RO5Musical form with recurring theme, often final movement of a piece, from Italian

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