Bee Roots for 2024-02-22

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: B/ACDENU
  • Words: 41
  • Points: 184
  • 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, ...)
1AB4Poetic for “in the sack” (sleeping), adv.
1AB9Plentiful, adj., noun form is a pangram
1BA5Sound a sheep makes, noun/verb
1BA4Rum sponge cake, or Ali & his 40 thieves
1BA4Infant, slugger Ruth, or pig film
1BA4(Archaic) past tense verb of making an auction offer or saying farewell or adieu
1BA6Prohibit, verb
1BA6Common yellow plantain variety
1BA4French for bench; judges sit “en …” as a full court
2BA4,6Musical group, or loop (as in “wedding” & “arm”)
2BA7,8Mask or headscarf, 2 spellings
1BA7A woman's strapless top formed from a band of fabric fitting around the bust
1BA4Cause of annoyance, or DC Comics villain (he’s the … of my existence)
1BA4Unit of data modulation speed, once commonly used for dial-up connections
2BE4,6Drop of sweat, or small decorative object (for a necklace, e.g.)
2BE4,6Legume (lima …), noun; or hit on the head, verb
1BE4Boyfriend, or actor Bridges (French for handsome)
1BE6Furniture you sleep on, noun/verb
1BE4Past participle of “to exist” (“How have you … doing?”)
1BE4Shape into a curve, or Oregon city
2BE6,8Coat, smear, verb (mud …er wasp)
1BU5Southern good ole boy
1BU6Part of a plant that will become a flower, noun/verb
1CA6Taxi, noun; or travel in a taxi, verb
1CA6Poolside gazebo
2CU4,5Three-dimensional shape whose faces are six identical squares, noun; or cut into such shapes, verb; or raise a number to the power of three, verb
1DA6Press lightly with a piece of absorbent material in order to clean or dry something, verb; or a small amount of something, noun (Brylcreem's "A little …'ll do ya!")
2DA4,6Coat, smear, verb (mud …er wasp)
1DU6Add sound, usually in a different language than the original, to video; or, give an informal name or nickname
1EB5Recede, especially in reference to the tide
1NA6Take, grab, or steal something; catch someone doing something wrong
2UN5,8Prohibit, verb
1UN6Shape into a curve, or Oregon city

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