Bee Roots for 2024-04-12

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: G/ADEMNU
  • Words: 50
  • Points: 255
  • 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, ...)
1AD5Saying or maxim (the old …)
1AG4How old you are, noun; or grow older, verb; or period of history, noun
1AG6List of items to be discussed at a meeting, noun
1AG7One of a list of items to be discussed at a meeting; or a synonym for the whole list, pangram
1AG4Old fashioned word for illness involving fever and shivering
2DA6,7Physical harm that impairs something's value or function, noun/verb; or an amount of money awarded as compensation for such harm (the jury awarded the plaintiff a million dollars in …s)
1DA4Mild cuss (just get the … thing working!); euphemism for “condemn to Hell” expletive
1DE6Debilitating viral disease of the tropics, transmitted by mosquitoes, and causing sudden fever and acute pains in the joints, also known as breakbone fever.
1DU4Animal manure
2ED4,5A border or outer boundary, or to provide one; win by a narrow margin
1EG4Archaic exclamation of surprise
1EG5What baby birds hatch from, noun; or throw those things at a house or car, verb; or encourage someone to do something, usually something dumb, verb
1EN7The final stage of a contest such as chess or bridge, when few pieces or cards are left, compound
2EN6,7Commit to marry (with an …-ment ring)
1GA6go around from one place to another, in the pursuit of pleasure or entertainment
1GA6Choke or retch, verb; or material placed over someone's mouth to prevent them from speaking or crying out, noun/verb
1GA4Super enthusiastic; Biden inauguration National Anthem singer
2GA4,5Competitive form of play (poker, soccer, Scrabble, etc.)
1GA5Γ, γ (3rd Greek letter), & shortest-length EM radiation (… rays)
2GA4,6Group of thugs ("Working on the Chain …"), noun/verb
3GA4,5,6Measuring dial (fuel …)
1GE6Precious or semiprecious stone
1GE4DNA sequence that determines traits, or singing cowboy Autry
1GU6Skin around your teeth; something you chew but don't swallow, noun/verb
1GU6Lethal weapon that shoots bullets; slang term for someone who uses it (hired …), noun/verb
2GU6,6♂ who wields a firearm, compound
1MA4Literary term for a wizard
1MA5Hot fluid below Earth’s crust; lava before it’s erupted
1MA6Wine bottle of twice the standard size
2MA6,7Administer (she got promoted to …ment)
1MA5Japanese graphic novels
1MA5Skin disease caused by mites, especially in dogs
1ME4Greek prefix for large, often used to mean 1 million
1MU6Large cup, used without a saucer; slang term for a person's face
1MU4Small round green bean native to India, noun
1NA6Annoy or irritate with persistent fault-finding or continuous urging
2NU5,6Prod gently, verb/noun
1UN9Physical harm that impairs something's value or function, noun/verb; or an amount of money awarded as compensation for such harm (the jury awarded the plaintiff a million dollars in …s)
1UN9Commit to marry (with an …-ment ring)
1UN9Administer (she got promoted to …ment)

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