Bee Roots for 2024-02-25

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: G/AILORT
  • Words: 50
  • Points: 216
  • 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, ...)
1AG4Seaweed gel used as food thickener & bacteria culture medium
1AG5Italian slang for heartburn from stress
1AG8Make someone nervous, campaign for a cause, or stir briskly (clothes in a washing machine, e.g.), verb
1AG4Very excited to hear or see something, adj.
1AG5Ancient Greek market
2AL4,5Pond scum
1AL9Large semiaquatic reptile, that humans sometimes wrestle, pangram
1AT8Congratulations for a young ♀ (slang)
1GA4Super enthusiastic; Biden inauguration National Anthem singer
1GA4A person's way of walking, or an animal’s pace (esp. horse); NOT a hinged fence opening
1GA4Formal ball or fundraiser (The Met …, e.g.)
1GA4Liver secretion, or bold behavior
1GA6Slang for a clumsy or oafish person (“You big …”)
1GA5Croc cousin, slang abbr.
1GI6Male escort; Richard Gere “American …” film
1GI4Coat with element Au, atomic no. 79
1GI4Fish breathing organ
1GI4Encircle with a belt
1GI4Young ♀
1GL4Nervous system connective tissue “cell,” (anagram of venomous lizard “monster”)
1GL5Be smug in your success or your opponent’s misfortune, verb
1GL7Of a sound produced by the opening between the vocal folds; a … stop is the sound of the T in “cat,” e.g.; adj.
1GO4Objective, or sport target or point
1GO4Alt milk source (nannies, billies, & kids)
1GO6Large number (10¹⁰⁰), NOT a web search site
1GO7Large primate (800-pound …)
1GO5Have to do so, slang contraction (I’ve … run)
1GR5Cup that the Round Table knights tried to find (The Holy …)
1GR5BBQ cooker; or interrogate, slang
1GR5Wandering West African storyteller
1GR4Small loose particles of stone or sand, or courage & resolve; “True …” 1969 & 2010 Western
1GR5Medieval coin, or hulled kernels (bulgur, e.g.) used in soup & porridge (kasha, e.g.)
1GR4Watered-down (nautical) rum
1GR6Small picturesque cave (the Blue … in Capri)
1IG5Ice house
1IR9Supply water to help crops grow
1LA5Florida Key (Bacall/Bogart film noir), or slow & dignified music tempo
1LI9What a lawyer does with a lawsuit, verb, noun form is a pangram
1LO6Room with one side open to a garden
1LO4Company graphic symbol; Target’s is a red bullseye ◎
1LO7Balance competition with timber in water, compound
1OT7Scientific term for ear pain
1RA4Indian ♫ pattern used as basis for improv, starts with old cloth
1RA6Untidy, disorganized, or diverse (group), compound adj.; starts with old cloth
1RI5Thoroughness or stiffness (… mortis)
1TA5Sometimes swampy coniferous forest of high northern latitudes
1TO4Wrap worn in ancient Rome (… party)
1TR4Study of angles in math, slang abbr. (sine, tangent, e.g.)

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