Bee Roots for 2024-04-08

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/AGIKNR
  • Words: 44
  • Points: 247
  • Pangrams: 2
Source: The Aesthetic Sense

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, ...)
1AP5Large primate without a tail, including gorilla, chimpanzees, and orangutans, noun/verb
1AP5Bee-related adj.
1GA6Stare open-mouthed
1GR6Strong Italian brandy
2GR4,8Grasp tightly, verb/noun
1GR7Complain about something in a persistent, irritating way
1KA510th Greek letter, popular in frat & sorority names
1KI7Bowling comedy with Bill Murray; or person essential to success; or crime boss, compound noun
1KI5Hebrew term for Jewish head covering
1NA7Brief period of sleep during the day
1NA6Paper or cloth used to wipe mouth when eating
1NI7Pinch, squeeze, or bite sharply, verb/noun
1PA5Heathen; worshiper of the old gods (… rituals)
1PA6Book leaf, noun; or summon with a beeper or announcement, verb
2PA4,7Sensation from an injury, noun/verb
2PA4,7Twosome (socks, aces, e.g.)
1PA7Something you cook food in, noun; try to find gold in a stream, verb; something a critic loves to do, verb
1PA4Stab of emotion (… of guilt or regret)
1PA6Toasted Italian sandwich
1PA4Father, slang
1PA7Hungarian spice
1PA6Trim off the outside or the ends, verb, NOT easily bruised fruit or group of two; or reduce as if by trimming (city council had to … down the budget)
2PA4,7Large public green area in a town, used for recreation (a walk in the …, or …s & rec), noun; or turn your car off and leave it temporarily, verb, gerund form is a pangram
1PA5Warm hooded coat, usually lined with fur or fake fur
1PI7Animal that is the source of bacon, noun/verb
1PI7Thin piece of metal with a sharp point at one end, used especially for securing fabric, noun/verb
1PI6Evergreen tree with cones, noun; or to long for, verb
2PI4,7Query a computer to determine connection speed; or get a sonar hit; or first word of informal name for table tennis
2PI4,7“Raise Your Glass” singer, color between red & white, or cut a scalloped edge (…ing shears)
1PI6Copper or plastic tube that carries water, noun; or to move liquid in one, verb; decorate a cake with icing
1PI6Fosse musical about Charlemagne’s son, or apple variety
2PR5,8Practical joke, noun/verb, gerund form is a pangram
1PR4Self-righteously moralistic person
1RA7Quick, sharp knock or blow, noun/verb, NOT cover a gift in colorful paper; or music genre featuring words recited rapidly and rhythmically over a prerecorded, typically electronic instrumental backing, noun/verb
1RA6Broccoli rabe
1RI7Tear or pull something quickly or forcibly, verb/noun
1RI8(Legal) relating to or situated on the banks of a river

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