Bee Roots for 2024-03-08

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/AINTRY
  • Words: 52
  • Points: 284
  • Pangrams: 1
Source: Wikipedia (by Tinelot Wittermans)

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, ...)
1AC6African or Australian wattle tree
1AC4Trendy smoothie berry
1AN5Childish or playful tomfoolery, usually plural
1AN9North Pole adj. (… Circle or Ocean)
1AR8Deep-fried sicilian rice balls
1AR61 of 2 classes in a tarot pack (major & minor), a mystery or deep secret, or specialized knowledge, noun
1AR6North Pole adj. (… Circle or Ocean)
1AR6Yellow daisy used to treat bruises
1AT5Unfinished room below roof; garret
2AT7,10Entice, lure, or evoke (… attention; opposites …), verb
1CA5Succulent plant with a thick stem that usually has spines, lacks leaves, and occasionally has brilliantly colored flowers
1CA5Pile of commemorative stones, or terrier (dog) breed
1CA6Small bird, popular as a pet, once used as a monitor for poison gas (… in a coal mine)
1CA6Leggy French dance
1CA5Tropical “lily”
1CA5Shrewd; or soup tin adj.
1CA4Tilt, or “I am unable to do so” contraction; hypocritical and sanctimonious talk
1CA7Medium-length narrative music for voice & instruments, from Italian for “sung”
1CA7Mexican or Spanish bar, or the Mos Eisley bar on Tatooine in “Star Wars”
1CA5Unit of weight for gems, NOT bunny food
1CA5Person who works in a traveling amusement (slang)
1CA5Lug around (fireman’s …), verb
1CA4Shopping trolley you push
1CA5Furry pet that purrs
1CA8Eye cloudiness, or waterfall
1CI5“Around” when used before a year, Latin
1CI5Cloud forming wispy streaks (“mare's tails”) at high altitude
1CI6Tree genus that includes lemon, lime, orange, and grapefruit, or the fruit of those trees
1CI4Large town (NY, LA, Chicago, etc.)
1CR6Scientific name for skull
1CR6Small, narrow space or opening
1CR6Fault-finder (“everyone’s a …”), or arts & dining reviewer
1CY4Greenish-blue (ink cartridge)
1CY5Doubter, pessimist
1IN6Recite a spell or a prayer; chant or intone, verb, usually occurs in its -ation noun form
1IN6Not damaged or impaired in any way; complete (I left with my dignity …), adj.
1IN9Very complicated or detailed, pangram (noun form is also a pangram)
1NA4Drug cop, slang
1NI6Vitamin B3
1NI6Adj. for element 7, most abundant one in air (acid)
1RA4Lively, entertaining, & mildly sexual; adj. (think car or horse speed contest)
1RI5Poison from castor beans, NOT a pilaf grain
1TA5Understood without being stated (… agreement), adj.
1TA4Diplomacy, sensitivity
2TA6,9Action planned to achieve a specific end (negotiating …)
1TA6Brown chemical in tea & wine used to preserve leather, noun
1TA7Hindu/Buddhist mystical text, involving sex
1TI5Archaic for shade of color, seen now only in “–URE of iodine”
1TI7Pre-Olympic god, largest Saturn moon, or industry bigwig
1TR5Large land area, or body passage (“digestive …”)

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