Bee Roots for 2024-04-16

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: I/CLMOPT
  • Words: 42
  • Points: 185
  • Pangrams: 2

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, ...)
1CL4Device to hold things together (paper or hair …)
1CO5Spherical or nearly spherical bacterium
1CO4Wind up spirally, verb/noun (Hamlet’s “mortal …”)
1CO5Baby or horse upset tummy
1CO5Paid jokester, or “… book” with superheroes
1CO6Perpetrate, pledge, or put into a mental ward
1CO9Not forbidden by law or custom
1CO7Airplane driver
1IL7Not forbidden by law or custom
1IM8Implied though not plainly expressed
1IM9(Of an action) seeming sensible & judicious under the circumstances, or relating to public affairs (body …), adj.
1LI5Not forbidden by law or custom
1LI4Singsong accent
1LI5Size, speed, or amount restriction
1LI4Chauffeured, stretched car, slang abbr.
1LI4Walk with a bad leg, verb; or soggy noodle adj.
1LI4Fat-sucking procedure, abbr.
1LO4A particular point or place
1LO8Hard candy on a stick
1MI4Wheat or pepper grinder
1MI5Parrot someone’s speaking & mannerisms, verb; or the person doing it, noun
1MI4Catcher’s glove, or Sen. Romney
1MO4To work hard (archaic); homophone of bris snipper
1OC6Aquatic animal with eight arms
1OL4Mixture, or spicy Spanish stew, NOT margarine
1OM4Leave out, verb
1OP5Relating to the eye (… nerve), med. adj.
1PI7½–sized flute
1PI5One of a series of small ornamental loops forming an edge on ribbon or lace
1PI4Tablet of medicine
1PI5Airplane driver
1PI4♂ who controls prostitutes, noun/verb
1PI5Ground-dwelling bird that wags its tail & is named for its song
1PO5Disease that put FDR in a wheelchair
1PO7(Of an action) seeming sensible & judicious under the circumstances, or relating to public affairs (body …), adj.
1PO8Slang derogatory term for an elected member of government, or name of a media company that covers them
1TI4Cash register or drawer, noun; “up to,” preposition; or prep soil for planting, verb
1TI4Move into a sloping position, or fight windmills (… at)
1TI6Rhyming compound adj. that means “of the very best quality” (in … condition), compound
1TO4Work hard (… away, trying to find the last few Spelling Bee words)
1TO6New Zealand small bird (Magnum, P.I star 1st name + breast, slang)
1TO5Subject of a discussion (his ears must have been burning because he was the current … of conversation)

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