Bee Roots for 2024-04-18

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: B/IKLNOT
  • Words: 34
  • Points: 125
  • Pangrams: 1
Source: Bangor Daily News

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, ...)
1BI62–piece bathing suit or A–bomb test atoll
1BI4Cheat someone out of $
1BI4Invoice, or actor Murray, noun/verb
1BI71 followed by 9 zeroes (in US & France); Latin 2 prefix, ordinal form is a pangram
1BI6Vitamin B7
2BL4,5Russian pancake
1BL5Shut & open your eyes quickly; add a letter to end of above singular
1BL4Gelatinous mass, or 1950s alien horror film
1BL4Stain (on your record), noun; or dry using absorbent material (forehead dampness), verb
1BL6Slang for drunk
1BO6Sewing machine thread holder
1BO8Small blackbird named for its call; AKA rice bird
1BO4Heat water to 212°F or 100°C
1BO5Cartoon sound effect when someone is hit on the head, or slang for “have intercourse with”
1BO4Cotton seed target for weevil
1BO4Western string tie
1BO4Runner Usain, or what you screw into a nut
1BO6Candy, or 2X “good" in French
1BO6Small tuna relative; Spanish for “pretty” (masc)
1BO4Hit your head (1960s “Batman” sound effect), or have sex with in Brit slang
1BO6Small ape related to chimps
1BO4Breast, slang
1BO6“Owie” you kiss & make better, mistake, or what 2 ghosts say
1BO4Printed novel, noun; or reserve something, verb
1BO4Favor, poetic (grant me a …), noun
1BO4Cowboy or winter shoe
1IN7Pattern of spilled pen fluid used in a Rorschach test; compound pangram
1KI71,000 tiny computer memory units
1KN4Radio volume or tuning dial, or door handle you turn
1LO4Wolf, Spanish
1LO8A collection of photographs compiled to show off a model, photographer, style, stylist, or clothing line, compound
1NO4Beginner, gamer slang
1OB4Death write-up in newspaper, slang abbr.

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