Bee Roots for 2024-04-17

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: M/ADEOWY
  • Words: 38
  • Points: 149
  • 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, ...)
1AM4A supply of bullets, slang abbreviation
1DA6Structure that holds back a river, noun/verb (beavers construct small ones)
1DA4Title given to a woman equivalent to the rank of knight (… Olivia de Havilland)
2DE4,6Consider (I … it a great success)
2DE4,6Show off, slang abbr. (a … model impressed investors); or demolish, slang abbrev.
2DO4,5Rounded vault on a roof
3DO4,5,6Terrible fate (they fell to their …), or pioneering 1st person shooter game
1ED7Green soybeans boiled or steamed in their pods
1ED5Medical term for swelling
1MA5Term of respect for a ♀, or one who runs a brothel; palindrome
1MA6Form of address to a French-speaking woman (… Bovary)
1MA4Assemble (Please … dinner tonight; I’m too tired) or force (Oh yeah? … me!), verb
2MA4,5♀ parent, slang
1MA6Distress call, compound
1MA4Hellman’s sandwich spread, slang abbr.
1ME4Alcoholic drink made from honey
2ME6,7Field with grass and often wild flowers, noun, adj. form is a pangram
2ME4,5Viral internet funny image, noun/verb
1ME4Office note abbr.
2ME4,6Cat sound, noun/verb
1ME5make a high-pitched crying noise, verb/noun
1MO5♀ parent, slang
1MO4Manner in which something happens (… of operation), or fashion (pie à la …)
1MO5Device to get a computer online (cable or DSL …)
1MO5Mother, familiar
1MO5Sound a cow makes
2MO4,5Emotional state (happy, angry, sad, etc.)
1MO5Cut grass or a crop

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