Bee Roots for 2024-02-03

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: O/AEGHLN
  • Words: 47
  • Points: 166
  • 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, ...)
1AE4Geologic time period, spelled with an æsc; “… Flux” anime
1AG7Everlasting (literally, “how old you are” + “short” antonym), compound adj.
1AG4Very excited to hear or see something, adj.
1AL4Sunburn gel from “… vera” plant
1AL5Hawaiian greeting
1AL5Down or next to (… the road), during (… the way), or with (brought …), preposition or adv.
1AL5Solitary (… wolf, e.g.), adj.
1AN6Clock with hands; not digital; adj.
1AN4Soon, poetically
1EG6Creamy Xmas drink with nutmeg & rum
1GA7Old Spanish sailing ship, not 128 liquid oz.
1GA6128 liquid oz.
1GO4Objective, or sport target or point
1GO6Eye protector for swimming or skiing; or stare with wide & bulging eyes
1GO4Away, out of, past; adj. (“… Girl” film with Affleck)
1GO4Orchestra chime or dinner bell
1GO5Intend to do, slang contraction
1GO6Popular web search site
1GO6Large number (10¹⁰⁰), NOT a web search site
1HA4Nimbus (ring of light or glowing cloud) atop a saint, or Xbox shooter game
1HA7Gas used in bright lights, or salt-forming elements group (F, Cl, Br, I, At), pangram
1HE8Satan’s pit; an oppressive or unbearable place; compound noun
1HE5Phone greeting
1HO5Stalag 13 colonel, former Maryland governor, or Navajo log & earth hut
1HO4Golf ball target (get a …-in-one), noun/verb
1HO4Sharpen (a blade or skill)
1LA6Inlet separated by a reef; “Blue…” film with Brooke Shields
1LL5South American grassy plain
1LO4Borrowed $, noun/verb
1LO4Theater section behind orchestra
1LO4Company graphic symbol; Target’s is a red bullseye ◎
1LO4Hang out or droop, as a dog’s tongue
1LO4Solitary (… wolf, e.g.), adj.
1LO4“Short” antonym, adj.; or yearn (for)
1LO6Tropical Asian fruit similar to lychee
1LO4“Crazy” water bird on Canada $1 coin
1NE4Atomic number 10, gas in lighted signs
1NO4Xmas time, or playwright Coward
2NO7,99–sided shape
1NO4Quantity of zero; “all” antonym
1NO412:00, midday, 🕛
1OG4S–shaped line or molding, noun; or having a double continuous S–shaped curve, adj.
1OG4Eye amorously
1OO6Dark Chinese tea (black dragon)

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