Bee Roots for 2024-01-29

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/ADILNW
  • Words: 35
  • Points: 123
  • Pangrams: 1
Source: Alvesgaspar - Own work, 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, ...)
1AL4Illumination, noun/verb (Let there be …)
1AN4Opposed to (prefix), NOT uncle’s wife nickname
1AT6Succeed in getting, or reach; verb (… nirvana), noun form is a pangram
1AT5Move into a sloping position, or fight windmills (… at)
1AW5Delay until a particular time or until something happens (… for it)
1DA4Facts & stats, computer info, or Star Trek Next Gen android
1DI4Archaic word whose only surviving use is “by [means] of” (hard work)
1IN7First (letter, as in J.R.R. Tolkien)
1LA7Tropical perennial flowering plant in the verbena family
1LI4Singsong accent
1LI4Dryer fluff
1NA5Latin adj. relating to place or time of birth
1NA6Swimming or floating adj. from Latin
1NI6Stupid person, compound rhyming insult
1TA4Dogs wag this hind appendage
1TA8Moving air, coming from behind an aircraft, compound pangram
1TA5Smear of corruption or pollution, noun/verb
1TA4Of greater than average height, adj.
1TA6Fringed prayer shawl
1TA4Ankle bone
1TA6Brown chemical in tea & wine used to preserve leather, noun
1TI5Ocean ebb & flow at the beach, or laundry soap brand
1TI4Cash register or drawer, noun; “up to,” preposition; or prep soil for planting, verb
1TI4Move into a sloping position, or fight windmills (… at)
1TI4Shade of color, noun; or darken car windows, verb
1TI5Pre-Olympic god, largest Saturn moon, or industry bigwig
1TW5Archaic word for two, or writer Mark
1TW6Sun’s glow below horizon at dawn & dusk; or Bella, Edward, & Jacob vampire movie
1TW5Textile weave with diagonal parallel ribs
1TW4Identical bro or sis
1TW4Silly person (also, start of a social media platform name)
1WA4Delay until a particular time or until something happens (… for it)
1WA4Have a desire to possess or do something
1WA4Unit of electric power
1WI4Droop, as a plant, or NBA’s Chamberlain

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