Bee Roots for 2024-03-21

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: O/DEFITX
  • Words: 32
  • Points: 159
  • Pangrams: 2

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, ...)
2DE5,7Wean off a drug habit, or (juice) cleanse, slang abbr.
1DE10Poison, verb
1DI51–way semiconductor with 2 terminals
1DI5“Same here” or “same as above”
1DI7Binary compound of element O with another element or group (rust is iron …)
1DO4Extinct bird; or stupid person, slang
2DO4,6Remove a hat or clothing
1DO6Small round mark, noun/verb (… the i's and cross the t's)
2DO4,5Be uncritically fond (she …s on her grandkids)
3DO4,5,6Publish identifying information about someone on the internet, typically with malicious intent
1FO4What you eat; victuals
1FO6Slang for eating & cooking enthusiast
3FO4,6,6What you cover with a sock
1FO5Member of the dog family with a bushy tail, known for cleverness
1ID5Stupid person (village …)
1IO6Compound made with element 53
1OF5Murder (slang); gerund form also means the near future
1OX5Binary compound of element O with another element or group (rust is iron …)
1TO4Appendage at the front of your foot (most have five per foot)
1TO6Hard, buttery candy found in a Heath Bar
2TO4,6Short horn sound; noun/verb
2TO4,5Reusable bag, noun; or schlep, verb
1TO8Poison, verb

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