Bee Roots for 2024-02-08

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: R/ABDLOY
  • Words: 57
  • Points: 259
  • 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, ...)
1AB6Train conductor cry: “All …!” (“Get on now!”)
1AB6Overseas (go …)
1AD8Love and respect deeply
1AR5Tree garden; its “Day” is the last Friday in April in many places
1AR5Passion (Latin “to burn”)
1AR5Ordered series, esp. math
1AR6Steep-sided gully in SW US; Spanish for creek
1BA8Narrative song; or a slow sentimental or romantic song
1BA8Old term for stadium where Yankees or Mets might play (compound made from orb + lawn)
1BA4Sharp projection near end of fishhook or on top of wire fence; start of Streisand name
1BA4Archaic term for “poet”; Shakespeare’s “… of Avon” nickname
1BO4Wild pig
1BO5Plank of wood, noun; or get on a vehicle, verb
1BO9Lie-flat surfing plank, compound
1BO7Short, thick post for mooring or protection
1BO4Lout, NOT wild pig
1BR4Small nail, or Janet's hubby in “Rocky Horror”
1BR4Donkey sound
2BR5,7Wide, or slang term for ♀, adj. + adv.
2BR5,6Fret about, or a hen sitting on eggs, verb + adj.
1BY6Less-travelled street, or BTW sans T
1DO6US currency
1DO5Literary term for a a state of great sorrow or distress (Spanish for pain), noun
1DO4Room or bldg. entrance
1DO8Garden next to an opening to a house, compound made from building entrance and grassy area
1DO6Mahimahi; or South American freshwater fish with a golden body and red fins
1DO4Type of fish or rowboat (“Finding Nemo” sequel)
2DR4,6Dull, lacking brightness or interest, adj.
1DR4Cart with open sides
2DR5,6Curious or unusual in a way that provokes amusement, adj.
2DR5,6Spit leaking out of your mouth, noun/verb
1DR5Not wet
1DR5Mythical Greek tree nymph
1LA5Hard work (manual…), or UK political party of Tony Blair (they add a U)
1LA4Pig fat for cooking
3LO4,5,6♂ version of “Lady” in nobility, or term for God; or, exclamation expressing surprise or worry
1LO5“Truck” in Britspeak
1OD4Bad smell (body …)
2OR4,6Spoken (… exam), or by mouth (… surgery), adjective
1RA5Nickname of Cpl. O’Reilly in M.A.S.H., or Doppler weather sensor acronym
1RA5Mass meeting of people for a common cause (pep, political)
1RO4Street ("Abbey …"), or “rocky …” ice cream flavor
1RO4Lion “shout”
1RO4What you do to dice, verb; or Tootsie candy & small bread format, noun
1RO7Vehicle roof rod to protect against overturning, compound
1RO4Large crucifix above altar, anagram of bldg. entrance
2RO5,7Prince or king adj. + adv. (“… flush” in poker)
1YA43 feet (…stick), or grassy area outside a house

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