Bee Roots for 2024-03-30

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: A/CJKOPT
  • Words: 25
  • Points: 99
  • Pangrams: 1
Source: Indianapolis Zoo

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, ...)
1AT6Assault, noun (an enemy …) or verb (… the problem head-on)
1AT4Opposite of bottom
1CA5Bean source of Hershey Bars
1CA4Mafia boss, or moveable bar on a guitar
1CO4Outdoor jacket (trench-…)
1CO41st part of popular soda brand name
1CO8Dog that’s a cross between a …er spaniel & a …dle
1CO8Crested parrot species
1CO5Hot winter drink with marshmallows, or the powder it’s made from
1JA4Playing card that’s 1 below a queen in value
1JA7What you hope to hit in the lottery or while gambling, pangram compound noun that starts with above
1KA5Mass of silky fibers that cover the seeds of a large tropical tree and are used as a filling for mattresses, life preservers, and sleeping bags
1KA510th Greek letter, popular in frat & sorority names
1PA4Throw clothes into a suitcase, verb
1PA4Formal agreement, treaty (don’t make one with the Devil)
1PA4Father, slang
1TA4Small nail (thumb …, carpet …), noun; use one, or sail into the wind, verb
1TA4Mexican filled tortilla, or “… Bell” restaurant
1TA4Diplomacy, sensitivity
1TA4Spanish bar snack (usually plural)
1TA6Skin “ink”
1TO7Virtuoso musical piece (Bach’s “… & Fugue in D Minor”)
1TO7Lightweight jacket, or final layer of paint; compound

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