Bee Roots for 2024-02-28

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: C/ABKOMR
  • Words: 42
  • Points: 169
  • Pangrams: 1
Source: Robert Pittman - NOAA

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, ...)
1AB5Surprised (taken …), adv.
1AR4Musically, “with the bow,” or gas brand
1BA4Part of body containing your spine
1BA8Hold your hair away from your head and brush it toward your head to make it look thicker, compound made from opposite of front + toothed hairstyling instrument
1BA8Place where secret work or decision making is done, compound pangram made from opposite of front + chamber of a house
1BA7Bartender's assistant, compound
1BA8Mexican BBQ; origin of English word via Texas; starts with 1st 5 letters of “Jeannie” actress Eden name
1BA7Soldier’s lodging
1BO4Dark German lager, or chicken sound
1BO8A framework, typically with rails or bars, for holding reading material, compound
1CA5Bean source of Hershey Bars
1CA4Clothing that helps you hide, slang abbr.
1CA4Bread starch avoided on many diets, slang abbr.
1CA5Tree or shrub whose pods are often used to make a chocolate substitute
1CA5Bounce off or glance off an object or cushion
1CO5Venomous snake with a hood
1CO41st part of popular soda brand name
1CO4Rooster, or slang for penis
1CO5Hot winter drink with marshmallows, or the powder it’s made from
1CO4Prolonged unconscious state
1CO4Toothed instrument to fix hair
1CO5Slang abbr. for a small jazz band, or a grouping of different foods (… platter or meal)
1CO5Curly punctuation mark that separates phrases
1CO4Prep or heat food
1CO8Bound, printed recipes (e.g. Fanny Farmer’s), compound
1CO4Wine bottle stopper
1CR4Crustacean with claws & eye stalks
1CR5Slang for cocaine you smoke, or fracture line, noun + adj.
1CR4Study intensely just before a test (stuff facts into your brain), or stuff into a box; verb
1CR5Frog sound, or slang for “die”
1CR4Holey shoe, or alligator relative abbr.
1CR5Slow-cooking “pot”
1CR5Lawbreaker, slang (Nixon: “I’m not a …”), or shepherd’s staff
1MA5Opposite of micro
1MA6Rattle shaken in music
1MO4Tease scornfully, verb; or imitation, adj. (… turtleneck)
1MO7Casablanca’s country
1OR4Killer “whale”
1RA4Frame used to lock up bikes, set up billiards balls, organize spices, or dry dishes, e.g.
1RO4Stone (Dwayne Johnson, with "The"); or what you do with a baby's cradle but shouldn't do with a boat, verb
1RO6Ornamental decorative style from the late Baroque
1RO6Amorous & funny film genre, slang abbr.

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