Bee Roots for 2024-01-25

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: I/CGHNTW
  • Words: 66
  • Points: 358
  • Pangrams: 2

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, ...)
1CH6Pretentious style (or almost 2x fashionable)
2CH4,8Bottom of face, noun; or raise it above a bar in a pull-up, verb
1CH4IOU note, Navy memo
1CH6Fibrous substance forming the exoskeleton of arthropods
2CI5,8Easy task (it’s a …), noun; or tighten up (belt or saddle, e.g.), verb
1CI6Quote as evidence
1GI7Live performance by or engagement for a musician or group, especially playing pop or jazz; noun/verb
1GI7Clear alcoholic spirit flavored with juniper berries; or card game
1HI4Opposite of low; or greater than normal (… definition TV), or stoned (… as a kite), adj.
1HI7Door fastener to frame that lets it swing open & closed, noun/verb
2HI4,7Clue, suggestion, noun/verb
1HI7Strike with a hand, tool, or weapon, verb/noun; popular song or movie
2HI5,8“Psycho” director Alfred nickname, or slang for thumb a ride, verb; or device on a vehicle that allows it to attach a trailer, noun
1IC5Frozen water
1IG8Catch fire, or cause to do so
2IN4,71/12 of a foot, noun; or move slowly, verb
1IN8Provoke unlawful behavior (… a riot)
1IN6A baseball game is divided into 9 of these
2IT4,7What you scratch (an …)
1NI4Near, archaic (“Repent, the end is …!”)
1NI5Opposite of day
1NI5Number of justices on Supreme Court
1NI6Stupid person, compound rhyming insult
1TH5Part of leg between hip & knee
2TH4,8Skinny, adj. (… Mints)
1TH5Unnamed object, noun (person, place, or …)
1TI5Having no slack (all my pants became too … during the pandemic), adj.
1TI5Archaic for shade of color, seen now only in “–URE of iodine”
1TI7Color slightly (…ed with pink), verb/noun
2TI4,7Shade of color, noun; or darken car windows, verb
1TI7Give 10% of your income to the Church
1TW4Slender woody shoot growing from a branch or stem of a tree or shrub, or small stick
2TW4,8Identical bro or sis
1TW7Strong thread or string with multiple strands (for tying packages, e.g.)
1TW8Word for a sudden sharp stab of pain
1TW4Silly person (also, start of a social media platform name)
2TW6,9Short, sudden jerking or convulsive movement, noun/verb, gerund form is a pangram
1WH5Asking for information specifying one or more people or things from a definite set
1WH7Long, high-pitched complaining cry (“You want some cheese with that…?”)
1WH8Complain persistently and peevishly (British)
1WH4Very small amount (it makes not a…of difference)
1WH7Slender-bodied marine fish of the cod family, which lives in shallow European waters (looks like a gerund based on snow color)
1WI7Head covering made of hair
1WI5Archaic for ghost, or “Isle of …” in English Channel off Hampshire coast; homophone of snow color
1WI7Be victorious in a game or battle
1WI7Slight grimace caused by pain
1WI5Hauling device consisting of a cable winding around a horizontal rotating drum, noun/verb
1WI6Fermented grape juice, (Merlot, e.g.), noun/verb
2WI4,7What birds, bats, & planes use to fly
2WI5,8A woman thought to have magic powers, especially evil ones, noun; or cast an evil spell, verb, gerund form is a pangram
1WI4Preposition: “accompanied by” (“I’m…stupid ←” t-shirt)
1WI6Inside (inquire …)
1WI7Done in full awareness, deliberate, adj. (UN- form is more common)

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