Bee Roots for 2024-04-20

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: N/AILPTU
  • Words: 57
  • Points: 255
  • Pangrams: 2
Source: Britannica

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, ...)
1AN5Yearly record book
1AN6Yearly, adj.
1AN5Void a marriage
1AN6Ring-shaped object, structure, or region
1AN4Opposed to (prefix), NOT uncle’s wife nickname
1AN4Opening at the end of the alimentary canal through which solid waste matter leaves the body, adj. form also means uptight
1AP5Bee-related adj.
1AT6Succeed in getting, or reach; verb (… nirvana), noun form is a pangram
1AU4Parent’s sister
1IN5Appropriate or suitable in the circumstances; or likely to do something, adj. (negated adverb form is a pangram)
1IN7First (letter, as in J.R.R. Tolkien)
1IN5Data consumed by a computer program, noun/verb
1IN6TurboTax company, or know by feeling rather than evidence
1LA5Hawaiian porch or island
1LA7Tropical perennial flowering plant in the verbena family
1LA4Put something down
1LI11Trivial or very small, pangram based on one of Gulliver's experiences
1LI4Dryer fluff
1LU4Roman moon goddess, or nutrition bar brand
1LU6½–moon shaped fingertip base white area (Latin "little moon")
1NA4Indiaan flaat breaad
1NA4Spike that’s hammered, noun/verb
1NA4Grandma, slang; or Peter Pan dog
1NA5Latin adj. relating to place or time of birth
1NA6Swimming or floating adj. from Latin
1NA7Cephalopod mollusk with a spiral shell, namesake of Captain Nemo's submarine
1NU4Having no legal or binding force; invalid
1NU7Wedding, noun/adj., pangram (the noun is usually plural, but that's not possible in the Bee)
1PA4Sensation from an injury, noun/verb
1PA5Latex or oil-based wall coating
1PA6Toasted Italian sandwich
1PA4What a dog does when it’s hot, verb; or singular of trousers, noun
1PA6Green film from aging on copper, or sheen on wood from polishing
1PI6Stuffed añimal with toys & cañdy that you hit with a stick
1PI416 fluid oz., or typical UK beer serving
1PI7Large duck named for its hind feathers; compound; think “… the … on the donkey” kid’s party game
1PI5Poster of a sex symbol ("model" or "girl"), or how you tack it to the wall, compound
1PI6Fosse musical about Charlemagne’s son, or apple variety
1PL5Ordinary, unadorned, NOT a 747; adj.
1PL6Legal term for an accusation, or literary noun for a grievance; usually starts with COM–
1PL4Detailed proposal (teacher’s lesson …), noun; or prepare in advance, verb
1PL5It has leaves, roots, & flowers (potted …), noun; or place a seed in the ground, verb
1PL8Banana variety
1PL6Flexible, often has COM– prefix; anagram of legal term for an accusation, adverb form is a pangram
1PU4American football kick when the offense gives up; or flat-bottomed boat; or Irish £ (slang)
1TA5Smear of corruption or pollution, noun/verb
1TA6Brown chemical in tea & wine used to preserve leather, noun
1TA5Provoke with words
1TI4Shade of color, noun; or darken car windows, verb
1TI5Pre-Olympic god, largest Saturn moon, or industry bigwig
1TU4Chicken of the sea (Ahi …)
1UL4Forearm bone opposite radius
1UN5Appropriate or suitable in the circumstances; or likely to do something, adj. (negated adverb form is a pangram)
1UN5Illumination, noun/verb (Let there be …)
1UN5Thin piece of metal with a sharp point at one end, used especially for securing fabric, noun/verb
1UN4Something whole on its own but part of larger thing (apartment, Army squad, e.g.)
1UN5Up to, preposition or conjunction (You have … 5 pm to finish)

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