Bee Roots for 2024-03-13

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: T/DEGILU
  • Words: 53
  • Points: 226
  • Pangrams: 1
Source: Diabolus in Musica

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, ...)
2DE6,7Erase (on a computer screen, e.g.)
1DE4Greek letter Δ-shaped upper arm & shoulder muscle, slang abbr.
2DI4,6Limit your food intake, verb/noun
1DI5Finger, toe, or any numeral from 1–9
2DI6,7Water down, verb/adj.
2DU4,7Performance by 2 people (music, dance, etc.), noun/verb
2ED4,6Revise text
1EL5Select group that’s superior
1ET5French for “study,” or short musical exercise piece
1GE4Yiddish for $, bet during dreidel game
1GI4Coat with element Au, atomic no. 79
2GL4,7Excess of supply in relation to demand, noun
2GL5,6Large muscle in the buttocks
2GU5,7Fact of having committed a crime (“I plead …y Your Honor”)
1GU6Esophagus, informally
1GU6Stomach or belly, noun; or take out the intestines of a fish before cooking, verb
1LE5Conforming to the law or to rules, adj., also a slang abbreviation (they were married at the time of the birth, so their baby was …)
2LI4,6Singsong accent
1LI4Low-calorie or low-fat in ad-speak (Miller … beer)
1LI6Small (Stuart or Chicken …), adj.
1LU4Older guitar relative
1TE4Short stick that holds up a golf ball, noun/verb
1TE4Inform, verb; or Swiss archer William with an overture
2TI4,5Ocean ebb & flow at the beach, or laundry soap brand
1TI6Neatly arranged, adj.; or neaten up, verb
1TI4Fasten with string or cord, verb/noun
1TI5Squiggly line placed over N in Spanish (piñata, e.g.)
2TI4,5Thin ceramic wall, counter, flooring, or roofing square
2TI4,6Cash register or drawer, noun; “up to,” preposition; or prep soil for planting, verb
2TI4,6Move into a sloping position, or fight windmills (… at)
2TI5,6Name of a book, movie, or job, noun/verb; or a document showing you own a car or house
1TI6Dot above an i or j, or really small amount
1TU6Pull hard, verb; or a boat that pushes ships around a harbor
1TU5Lightweight, stiff veil or gown fabric
1TU6Make an exclamation expressing disapproval or annoyance
1TU5Private instructor
1TU5All together, musically (Italian); Little Richard “Wop bop a loo bop” song
1TU4Ballet skirt, or S Afr Bishop Desmond
1UT5Useful, formal adj. (think of what Batman wears on his waist)

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