Bee Roots for 2024-04-03

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: P/EIKLUY
  • Words: 33
  • Points: 103
  • 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, ...)
1EP4Fencing sword
1KE4Retain (an item)
1KE4Large brown algae seaweed
1KE6Water spirit of Scottish folklore, typically taking the form of a horse
1KE4Flat-topped French military hat that de Gaulle wore
1LI5Body part with which you kiss
1PE4Quick furtive look (…-a-boo baby game), not mountaintop
1PE4Skin of a fruit, noun; or to remove it, verb
1PE4Baby bird sound, Easter marshmallow, or a furtive look
1PE4Chinese toy dog, slang abbr., not mountaintop
1PE5Energy, liveliness, noun/verb
1PI4“Star Trek” Enterprise captain (Christopher) before Kirk, pointy stick weapon, or “highway” slang abbr.
1PI4Heap, stack (dirty laundry, raked leaves, etc.), noun/verb
1PI6Crash involving several vehicles, or accumulation (of work, e.g.), compound
1PI4Tablet of medicine
1PI4Copper or plastic tube that carries water, noun; or to move liquid in one, verb; decorate a cake with icing
1PL4Ballét bénd
1PU4Vomit, informal
1PU4Literary for “whimper” (usually ends in –ING)
1PU4Hungarian herding dog with dreadlocks
1PU4Tug on, verb
1PU6Wheel with a grooved rim around which a cord passes
2PU4,5Soft, wet, shapeless mass (“… Fiction” film), or floating bits of fruit in orange juice, noun/verb
1PU5Student, or black dot at center of eye
1PU5Young dog
1PU9Resembling a young dog, compound pangram
1UP6Maintenance (lawn, e.g.), compound (uses “retain” verb), noun
1YE4Short, sharp cry of pain; or business review site & app
1YI4Slang exclamation of pain; usually plural
1YI6Expression of wild excitement or delight (…kay yay)
1YI6Member of a radical antiestablishment group founded in the US in 1967 & favoring theatrical gestures & stunts
1YU6Young person with a well-paid job and a fashionable lifestyle (based on Young Urban Professional)

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