Bee Roots for 2024-04-02

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: F/AILNTY
  • Words: 47
  • Points: 254
  • Pangrams: 3

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, ...)
1AF7Legal term for someone who swears to a statement of fact
1AF8Liking or sympathy for someone or something (I have an … for word games)
1AL7Grass for hay, or Little Rascal
1AN6Left-wing protest group used as a scapegoat by the right
1FA4Don’t pass a test
2FA5,7Lose consciousness, verb; or barely perceptible, adj.
1FA4Autumn, noun; or plummet, verb
1FA5Body part upon which you sit
1FA7With a backend in the shape of a device for moving air, compound (… pigeon, … shrimp)
2FA5,5Natural oily or greasy substance occurring in animal bodies, noun/adj.; or (archaic) cause to have a lot of it, verb
3FA5,7,8Deadly, adj. (“… Attraction” film)
1FI4Italian car brand (part of Chrysler), formal decree, or arbitrary order
1FI5Number of US states
2FI6,8Of or due from a son or daughter, adj.
1FI4Add material until the container or hole is at capacity
1FI5Young ♀ horse
3FI5,7,8Last one (… exam, “… Countdown”)
1FI6Ornament at end or top of an object
1FI5Of suitable quality (all the news that's … to print), adj.; be of the right shape and size, verb/noun
1FL5Swing (arms) wildly
1FL4Caramel-topped custard
2FL4,6Having no depth or height (… as a pancake), or ♭ in music (opposite of ♯)
1FL4Peel the skin off of a corpse or carcass
2FL5,6Michigan city with tainted water, or stone that makes sparks
1FL4Move swiftly & lightly, as a bird, e.g. (… about)
1IF4On condition
1IN6Add material until the container or hole is at capacity
2IN6,11Baby, noun
1IN8That which is boundless or endless, represented by an 8 that has fallen over
1LI4Raise up (fork…), not Uber competitor
1NA4Inexperienced person (from French)
2NI5,7Particularly skillful (… footwork); or fashionable; stylish (… shoes)
1TA5Chewy candy (Salt water …)
1TA7Flat appendage at the end of the body of an aquatic animal (compound)
1TI4Petty quarrel, or computer image format
1TI7Thin gauze muslin; or high-end jeweler (Breakfast at …'s)

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