Bee Roots for 2024-04-22

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: C/GIKNOR
  • Words: 50
  • Points: 261
  • Pangrams: 3
Source: HansLinde /

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, ...)
1CI5Cloud forming wispy streaks (“mare's tails”) at high altitude
1CO5Spherical or nearly spherical bacterium
2CO4,7Rooster, or slang for penis
2CO6,9Nest for butterfly larva, noun; or wrap up like one, verb
2CO4,7Metal $, noun; or come up with a new phrase, verb
1CO4Fiber from the outer husk of the coconut, used for making ropes & matting
1CO7Swindle, verb; someone serving a prison sentence (noun, slang)
1CO5Ice cream holder shape
2CO4,7Faint, stall, or break down (my car …ed out), verb; or hit, especially on the head, verb
1CO6Soft murmur made by a dove or pigeon, noun/verb
2CO4,7Prep or heat food
1CO6The tough central part of many fruits, where the seeds are, noun; or remove that part, verb; or central, adj.
1CO5Queen Elizabeth II’s preferred small Welsh dog breed
2CO4,7Wine bottle stopper, originally made from the bark of certain trees, noun; or insert such a stopper, verb, gerund form is a pangram
1CO4Veg on a cob
2CR5,8DNA discoverer with Watson et al., or neck stiffness, noun/verb
1CR8Bend the head and/or body in fear or in a servile manner
1CR4Holey shoe, or alligator relative abbr.
1CR5Slow-cooking “pot”, usually earthenware, noun; or preserve in such a pot, verb, gerund form is a pangram
1CR5Small plant that blooms early in spring
2CR5,8Lawbreaker, slang (Nixon: “I’m not a …”), or shepherd’s staff, noun; or bend something, especially a finger, verb, gerund form is a pangram
2CR5,8Hum or sing in a soft, low voice, especially in a sentimental manner (think Sinatra or Bublé)
1IC5Frozen water
2IC4,6Symbol (you tap on phone screen, e.g.), adverb form is a pangram
1IO5Atom or molecule with a net electric charge
1IR6Wryly funny because it’s opposite to what’s expected (a fire station burns down, e.g,)
2KI4,7Strike with foot, verb/noun
2KN5,8Rap on a door, hoping to be let in, verb; or run into, verb, or disparage, slang verb/noun (…, …. Who's there?)
2NI4,7Small cut from shaving, or Santa name (Old Saint …), noun/verb
2NO4,7Notch at the back of an arrow, noun; or fit an arrow to a bowstring, verb
1RI6Swamp grass which is widely cultivated as a source of food, especially in Asia, noun; or force cooked potatoes or other vegetables through a sieve, verb
1RI5Poison from castor beans, NOT a pilaf grain
1RI4“Casablanca” café owner”, or haystack
2RO4,7Stone (Dwayne Johnson, with "The"); or what you do with a baby's cradle but shouldn't do with a boat, verb, gerund form is a pangram
1RO6Ornamental decorative style from the late Baroque

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