Bee Roots for 2024-03-06

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: L/BENOTV
  • Words: 44
  • Points: 163
  • 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, ...)
1BE6VW compact car, or winged insect (scarab, e.g.)
1BE4It rings
1BE5Southern pretty ♀ (Scarlett O'Hara, e.g.)
1BE4It holds your pants up
1BE10Well-meaning & kindly (dictator), or charitable (order), pangram adj. (starts with Italian for "good")
1BE5Nut that Bloody Mary chews in “South Pacific”; AKA areca nut
1BE5Sloping edge in carpentry & stonework, noun or verb
1BL4Gelatinous mass, or 1950s alien horror film
1BL4Stain (on your record), noun; or dry using absorbent material (forehead dampness), verb
1BL6Slang for drunk
1BO6Type of “head” doll that nods when moved
1BO4Cotton seed target for weevil
1BO4Western string tie
1BO4Runner Usain, or what you screw into a nut
1BO6Baby milk feeder
1EL6Hour before noon
1EN7Aristocrat, aristocratic, or righteous, NOT a Peace Prize from Oslo
1EV6Develop gradually (Darwin said that humans and apes …ed from a common ancestor), verb
1LE4Pre–Easter holiday when you give up meat, noun; or “borrowed” counterpart, verb
1LE5Slowly, in music & Italian
1LE5River embankment to prevent flooding
1LE5Flat, adj.; or straightening tool with bubble, noun
1LO4Brain section, or part of ear most commonly pierced
1LO4Wolf, Spanish
1LO4Hang out or droop, as a dog’s tongue
1LO4Solitary (… wolf, e.g.), adj.
1LO4“Crazy” water bird on Canada $1 coin
1LO4Pirate treasure, noun; or to steal during a riot, verb
1LO5State-sponsored numbers betting ticket (Powerball, e.g.)
1LO4The ♥ in I♥NY, or “zero” in tennis
1NE6“Stinging” plant, noun; or to annoy, verb
1NO5Aristocrat, aristocratic, or righteous, NOT a Peace Prize from Oslo
1NO4Xmas time, or playwright Coward
2NO5,9Book of fiction (romance, mystery), noun; or “new” (… idea), adj.
1TE4Inform, verb; or Swiss archer William with an overture
1TO4Road use fee (paid at a booth)
1TO4An implement (hammer & screwdriver, e.g.); often stored in a …box
1TO6Drive or move in a leisurely manner, or play gently or repeatedly on a flute
1VE6Soft fabric, developing antler cover, or Lou Reed’s “… Underground” rock band
1VE9Soft cotton fabric, or a kid’s stuffed rabbit who wants to become real
1VO4Small burrowing rodent AKA field mouse
1VO4Unit of electric potential (110 … socket)

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