Bee Roots for 2024-03-14

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/ABGHIN
  • Words: 62
  • Points: 355
  • Pangrams: 2
Source: Wikipedia

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, ...)
1AB7Become less intense (the storm suddenly …d)
1AG5Italian slang for heartburn from stress
1AG9Make someone nervous, campaign for a cause, or stir briskly (clothes in a washing machine, e.g.), verb
1AN9How old you are, noun; or grow older, verb; or period of history, noun
1AN4Opposed to (prefix), NOT uncle’s wife nickname
2AT6,9Succeed in getting, or reach; verb (… nirvana), noun form is a pangram
1BA4Thai $
2BA4,7(Put a) worm on a fishing hook; verb/noun
1BA7What you use to hit the ball in games such as baseball or cricket; flying mammal
1BA6(Of a hawk) flap wings to escape, homophone of worm on a fish hook
2BA4,7Shower alternative
1BI5Curve in a coastline, or a loop of rope (… of Benin or Biafra), noun
1BI6Use teeth to cut into food (take a … out of the apple)
1GA4A person's way of walking, or an animal’s pace (esp. horse); NOT a hinged fence opening
1GA6Hinged barrier, or airplane boarding area
1GI5Enormous person (Jolly Green …, Andre the …)
1GI7A billion of the smallest unit of data (my internet at home is slow, but at work we have a …)
1GN4Tiny flying insect
1HA5Nun’s garment, or tendency (chewing your nails is a bad …)
1HA7Natural environment for animal or plant, Pres. Carter’s “… for Humanity”
1HA6Dislike intensely, verb/noun
1HA4Archaic 3rd person singular present form of "possess" (Hell … no fury)
1HA5Yoga type that pairs poses with breathing
2HI4,7Clue, suggestion, noun/verb
1HI7Strike with a hand, tool, or weapon, verb/noun; popular song or movie
1IG8Catch fire, or cause to do so
3IN7,10,10Occupy or live in (Emperor penguins … cold climates)
2IN7,10Hinder, restrain, or prevent (cold weather …s plant growth)
1IN10Cause to begin, or admit into a secret society; verb; or novice, noun
1NA6Swimming or floating adj. from Latin
1NI5Opposite of day
1NI5Number of justices on Supreme Court
1TA7Mark with a projecting piece of material, verb/noun; or identify as suitable for a position, verb (Biden …ed Harris as his running mate)
1TA7Identification label, noun/verb; or kids' game (…, you're it)
1TA6Middle Eastern sesame seed paste or sauce
1TA5Sometimes swampy coniferous forest of high northern latitudes
2TA5,8Smear of corruption or pollution, noun/verb
1TA7Yellowish-brown color
1TA4Strong taste, flavor, or smell; astronaut orange juice
1TA6Brown chemical in tea & wine used to preserve leather, noun
1TA7Make lace
1TH4Comparison word (bigger … a breadbox)
1TH4Pronoun for the other thing (this & …)
1TH5Part of leg between hip & knee
2TH4,8Skinny, adj. (… Mints)
1TH5Unnamed object, noun (person, place, or …)
1TI5Shin bone
1TI5Having no slack (all my pants became too … during the pandemic), adj.
1TI7Color slightly (…ed with pink), verb/noun
2TI4,7Shade of color, noun; or darken car windows, verb
1TI5Pre-Olympic god, largest Saturn moon, or industry bigwig
1TI7Give 10% of your income to the Church

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