Bee Roots for 2024-02-18

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: D/AIMNOT
  • Words: 42
  • Points: 249
  • Pangrams: 6

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, ...)
1AD7Stage name of “Goody Two Shoes” singer; or refusing to change your mind, adj. (adverb form is a pangram)
1AD8Math operation with plus (+) symbol, or new rooms that expand a house
1AD5♂ who writes sales pitches, compound
1AD5Back office staff, slang abbr.
1AD5Fess up, or let in
1AD10Reprimand or advice (the judge’s … to the jury), pangram noun
1AM4Surrounded by, preposition
1DA6Slang exclamation of frustration (“… Janet” song in “Rocky Horror”); should have an N instead of a doubled central consonant; compound; condemn something to hell
2DA4,9Condemn to Hell, verb; or exclamation of frustration (the state of being condemned to Hell is a pangram)
1DA4Facts & stats, computer info, or Star Trek Next Gen android
1DI7Shape of a baseball field, or sparkly gem, noun
1DI6Single-celled alga which has a cell wall of silica
1DI4Flintstones pet, or T. Rex family abbr.
1DI4Archaic word whose only surviving use is “by [means] of” (hard work)
1DI5“Same here” or “same as above”
1DO4Extinct bird; or stupid person, slang
1DO6Area of territory owned or controlled by a ruler or government (eminent …), noun
2DO8,10Have a commanding influence; or exercise control; or be the most conspicuous
1DO8Sovereign authority over a country or people (Canada was a … from 1867 to 1951)
1DO6Spotted game tile (“bones”)
1DO8Give to a good cause
1DO6Thingamajig, slang; ends in “father” nickname
1DO4Terrible fate (they fell to their …), or pioneering 1st person shooter game
1ID5Slang phrase particular to a language (“raining cats & dogs”), noun
1ID5Stupid person (village …)
1IN12Frighten someone, especially to make them do what you want
1MA5Term of respect for a ♀, or one who runs a brothel; palindrome
1MA6Crazy ♂, compound (if plural, Don Draper’s retro TV show)
1MA48 of them were milking in a Xmas carol
1MI4Computer music protocol, calf-length skirt, or noon in French
1MI4Intention (I changed my …), noun; or dislike (I don’t … a little rain) or heed (… your manners), verb
1MO5Soul-like thing in Leibniz' metaphysics; or math (category theory)/computer functional programming term for a single entity (think 1st name of Leonardo’s smiling Lisa + 1st letter of his last name)
1MO5Slang for something huge or remarkable, or Italian for “world” (The Ramones' … Bizarro)
1MO4Emotional state (happy, angry, sad, etc.)
1NA4Nothing, Spanish
1NA5Greek water nymph, or dragonfly larva
1NO11Have a commanding influence; or exercise control; or be the most conspicuous
1NO5Wanderer; or member of a people without a permanent home, who travel to find food, livestock pastures, or work, adj. form is a pangram
1TI5Lacking courage or confidence, adj. (… as a mouse)
1TO4Frog cousin

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