Bee Roots for 2024-03-05

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: I/ADLMOR
  • Words: 47
  • Points: 163
  • Pangrams: 1
Source: National Wildlife Federation

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, ...)
1AD7Highest naval rank
1AI5Garlic mayonnaise, from French for garlic
1AI7Letters transported by plane (compound)
1AM4Surrounded by, preposition
1AR4Opera solo
1AR4Dry (climate or land), adj.
1AR4Seed covering
1AR9US animal that rolls into a ball to protect itself, pangram
1AR8Relating to heraldry or heraldic devices
1DI4What you turn on a rotary phone or radio knob (don't touch that …!)
1DI5Phallus-shaped sex toy
1DI4Pickle spice
1DI7Model representing a scene with three-dimensional figures
1DR5Power tool with bits for making holes, or practice for an emergency (fire …); noun
1DR5Star Wars robot (R2D2, C3PO, BB–8), or last syllable of Google phone OS (An…)
1ID5Slang phrase particular to a language (“raining cats & dogs”), noun
1ID4Punk rocker Billy; “American …” TV singing contest; or public figure you worship (…-ize)
1IM4Prayer leader at mosque
1IM7Principled, ethical, adjective; or the lesson of a story, noun
1LA4Animal or criminal den
1LA4Put something down
1LI4Someone who doesn’t tell the truth
1LI4Peru capital, or bean
1LI4Chauffeured, stretched car, slang abbr.
1LI4₺ or ₤, Turkish or old Italian $
1MA48 of them were milking in a Xmas carol
1MA4Letters you get or send
1MA8Apt. bldg. & office chamber where you pick up letters & packages, compound
1MA4Permanently injure
2MA7,8Ague, or swamp fever from mosquitoes
1MI6Location descriptor of plane “collision” that occurs in the sky
1MI4Computer music protocol, calf-length skirt, or noon in French
1MI4Not severe (a … case of the flu), or gentle (Clark Kent, the …-mannered reporter)
1MI4Wheat or pepper grinder
1MI6Looking glass (“Who’s the fairest of them all?”)
1MO4To work hard (archaic); homophone of bris snipper
1OL4Mixture, or spicy Spanish stew, NOT margarine
1RA6Modern tire design; or arranged like spokes of a wheel, adj.
1RA5AM/FM music & talk device in car & home
1RA5Distance from a point on a circle to the center
1RA4Sudden attack, as in “air” or police;” or insect spray
1RA4What a train travels on, or what you hold on stairs
1RA8Trains & tracks, compound noun; ends in below (“I’ve been working on the …”)
1RI4$ in Iran, Oman, & Yemen
1RI4Small stream
1RO4Stir up mud or trouble (…ed the waters)

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