Bee Roots for 2024-02-20

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/FKLMNO
  • Words: 30
  • Points: 81
  • 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, ...)
1FE4Perceive by touch; or experience (emotion)
1FE4Cut or knock down (a tree or opponent, e.g.)
1FE5Person who has been convicted of a serious crime & often can’t vote in many places as a result
1FE5Woman in French
1FE6Veg & seed used in cooking, esp. Italian
1FL4Run away from danger, NOT a bug that causes itching
1FL4Sheet of ice atop the ocean, homophone of moving liquid
1KE4Bottom stabilizing ridge of a boat or ship, noun; or capsize, verb (… over)
1KE4Eager (peachy-…), adj.; or wail in grief, verb
1KE6Dog or cat housing (where you leave them when away), noun; or put a pet in one, verb
1KE4Betting game similar to bingo or lotto, often done at restaurants, where you pick numbers that you hope will be drawn
1KN4Mid-leg joint, noun; or hit someone with one, verb
1KN5Bend down & rest on above to pray, propose marriage, or protest during the National Anthem
1KN5Slow ringing at a church that signifies death
1LE4Veg similar to onion; homophone of place where water escapes a pipe
1LE5Yellow citrus fruit, or CNN anchor Don
1LO4Solitary (… wolf, e.g.), adj.
1ME4Submissive (“Blessed are the …, for they shall inherit the earth”), adj.
1ME5Confusing scuffle
1ME5Cantaloupe or honeydew, e.g.
1ME4Viral internet funny image, noun/verb
1ME4Office note abbr.
1ME7group of ♂, especially those of a particular family or community, compound pangram
1MO4Burrowing blind rodent, or embedded spy
1NE4Hawaiian goose & state bird
1NE4Atomic number 10, gas in lighted signs
1NO4Xmas time, or playwright Coward
1NO4Quantity of zero; “all” antonym
1OM4Portent, or Damien’s horror films (“The …”)

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