Bee Roots for 2024-04-09

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: L/ABEGHN
  • Words: 52
  • Points: 206
  • 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, ...)
1AB4Having the power, skill, means, or opportunity to do something, adj. (She was … to walk at 14 months)
3AL4,5,5Pond scum
1AL6Claim without proof
1AL6(Bio term) 1 of 2 or more versions of a gene
1AN5Harp-playing winged heaven resident, or Xmas tree topper
1AN5They can be acute, right, or obtuse
1AN5Yearly record book
1AN6Heat then cool metal or glass slowly to toughen it
1AN4Opening at the end of the alimentary canal through which solid waste matter leaves the body, adj. form also means uptight
1BA6Talk rapidly in a foolish or excited way (like an infant); homophone of Genesis “Tower of …,” verb
1BA5Genesis “Tower of …,” noun
1BA5Dense bread roll in the shape of a ring, made by boiling dough and then baking it
1BA4Parcel of hay, or actor Christian
1BA6Whale straining “teeth”
1BA4Where Cinderella lost her slipper, noun; or squeeze or form into a spherical shape, verb
1BA5Unoriginal, dull
1BA6Rigid bracelet or anklet
1BE6Dog breed that gave us Snoopy
1BE8A pitch aimed at a batter’s head, compound
1BE4It rings
1BE5Southern pretty ♀ (Scarlett O'Hara, e.g.)
1BL4Reveal a secret by indiscreet talk
1BL4Dull, informal adj. or exclamation
1EA5A bald one is the USA's national bird
1EL4Énérgy, stylé, énthusiasm; from Frénch
1EN6Having the power, skill, means, or opportunity to do something, adj. (She was … to walk at 14 months)
1GA6Talk rapidly and unintelligibly, verb/noun
1GA5The part of a wall that encloses the end of a pitched roof (Anne of Green …s)
1GA6A “herd” of geese
1GA4Formal ball or fundraiser (The Met …, e.g.)
1GA8Asian plant of the ginger family, widely used in cooking and medicine
1GA4Strong wind storm
1GA4Liver secretion, or bold behavior
1GE5(Smucker’s) fruit preserve, or cosmetic cream, French spelling (with 3 E’s)
1GL5Gather info from various sources, or take leftover grain after a harvest
1GL4Delight, choir (… club), or TV show about a HS choir
1GL4Narrow valley, or Eagles singer Frey
1HA6Dispute or bargain persistently, especially over the cost of something
1HA5Kosher in Islam
1HA4Strong, well, fit (… & hearty); or Revolutionary War patriot Nathan
1HA4Corridor, or Let’s Make a Deal’s Monty
1HA8What you do to a painting you want to mount on a wall, or to a criminal sentenced to the gallows
2HE4,8Recover from injury
1HE4Back of your foot (Achilles’ weakness), noun; or (of a dog) follow closely
1HE4Satan’s domain
1LA5Tag or sticky paper with info (Avery mailing …)
1LA4Small road (Beatles’ Penny … or Superman’s Lois …)
1LE4Not fatty (… meat), adj.; or incline (… back in your chair)
1LE5Law adj. (not forbidden by law)

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