Bee Roots for 2024-03-16

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/ACDEHP
  • Words: 46
  • Points: 193
  • 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, ...)
1AC6African or Australian wattle tree
1AC4Trendy smoothie berry
2AC4,6Below 7 on the pH scale (amino …, sulfuric …, hydrochloric …)
1AI4Assistant to an important person, esp. military or political (…-de-camp), noun
1AP5Garden pest (insect)
1AP6Each, or cost per item, adv.
2CA6,7One who carries golf clubs
1CH4Spiced Indian tea (… latte)
1CH4Faddish “pet” mint plant
1CH5Girl, Spanish
1CH6Pretentious style (or almost 2x fashionable)
2CH4,7Gambling token you cash in; or a little piece of something; or a short shot in golf, noun/verb
1CI6Noisy 17–year insect
2DE6,7Make up one’s mind
1DE7Killing of a god, noun
2DE5,6Frozen water
2DI4,5Spotted cubes you roll, noun; or chop into cubes, verb
1DI4Cease to live
1DI6Put something down quickly into liquid, verb; or brief swim, noun
1ED6Water swirl, NOT clothier Bauer
1EP4Long poem celebrating heroic feats, noun; or historically important, adj. (… struggle, … quest)
1HE9Ornamental (bridal) hair covering, compound pangram
1HI4Stay out of sight (play “… & seek”), verb; or animal skin, noun
1HI4Go quickly (archaic)
1HI6Typical Woodstock attendee, 1960s counterculture member
1IC4Frozen water
1ID4Thought or suggestion (here’s a new …), noun
1IP6Medicinal syrup that induces vomiting, used to be used for poisonings
1PA4Give $ in exchange for goods or services, verb/noun
1PI4A printed type size, or medical condition that makes you want to eat non-foods
2PI5,6Section of something larger (homophone of “tranquility” term), noun; or assemble (… together), verb
1PI4Multicolored (… Piper of Hamelin)
2PI4,5Copper or plastic tube that carries water, noun; or to move liquid in one, verb; decorate a cake with icing

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