Bee Roots for 2024-02-16

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: E/ACDTVX
  • Words: 46
  • Points: 223
  • Pangrams: 1
Source: © Ryan Deboodt / Oxalis Adventure Tours

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, ...)
1AC4Get a top grade on a test
1AC7Vinegar adj., or acid it contains
1AC5Do something
2AC6,7Give up (power or territory)
1AD5Join something to something else
1AX4Tool for chopping wood
1CA5Trainee in the armed services or police force
2CA4,5Large underground chamber, where stalactites and stalagmites form and bats live, noun; or give in (slang)
1CA6Warning; … emptor is Latin for “buyer beware,” noun
2CE4,5Give up (power or territory)
2DA4,5June 12, 2021, e.g., noun; or see someone romantically, verb
1DE4Not alive
1DE6Span of ten years
2DE4,6Property ownership paper, noun; or to transfer ownership, verb
2DE6,8Notice (Do I … a hint of lemon in this cake?)
2EA4,5Roof overhang, NOT Adam’s mate
2EV5,6Escape or avoid, especially by cleverness or trickery
2EX5,7Precise (the … amount owed is $12.47), negative form is a pangram
1EX6Bet in which 1st 2 places in a race must be predicted in correct order
2EX8,9Make a hole by digging, past tense is a pangram
2EX6,8Go beyond, surpass
1EX4Corp. bigwig abbr.
1TA5Musical direction meaning “silent”
1TA6Make lace
1TA5Compulsory contribution to state revenue, noun/verb
1TE4Short stick that holds up a golf ball, noun/verb
2TE4,6Short, written message sent by a mobile phone to another one
2VA6,7Leave a place that was previously occupied (… the premises immediately!), or legal term for cancel (contract, judgment, or charge); verb
2VA5,6Innoculate, slang (I'm …ed and boosted)
1VE6Person with combat experience, noun; check credentials, verb
1VE5Make someone feel annoyed, frustrated, or worried, especially with trivial matters

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