Bee Roots for 2024-04-23

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: U/ABLMNT
  • Words: 43
  • Points: 158
  • 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, ...)
1AB4Be next to; share a common border
1AL5Blank book where you can keep your pictures; collection of songs for sale (The White …)
1AL4Graduate, noun, Latin abbr.
1AL6Graduate, from Latin
1AM8Able to walk around; not confined to bed, pangram
1AN6Yearly, adj.
1AN5Void a marriage
1AU4Parent’s sister
2AU6,8Fall (the season, not loose your balance)
1BL5(Of a knife) not sharp, or (of talk) frank; adj. or hollowed-out cigar filled with pot, noun
1BU5Southern good ole boy
1BU4Light-producing globe, head of garlic, or what you plant to get a tulip
1BU4♂ cow
1BU4Tap a baseball instead of swinging
1BU4Hit with head or horns (… heads with), verb; or slang abbr. for your rump, noun
1LU4Hawaiian BBQ
1LU4Soothe (… into a false sense of security), verb; or a pause in activity, noun
1LU4Doozy, or “To Sir With Love” singer
1LU4Roman moon goddess, or nutrition bar brand
1LU6½–moon shaped fingertip base white area (Latin "little moon")
1MA6Done by hand, adj. (… labor); or instruction book, noun
1MA4Wound by tearing & scratching, or Star Wars Sith Lord (Darth …)
1MU4Think over, heat cider or wine, verb; or actor Martin
1MU6Undergo genetic change (viruses do it all the time)
1MU4Mixed-breed dog, slang
1MU6Held in common by two or more parties
1MU6Loose, brightly-colored Hawaiian dress with a double name
1NU4Having no legal or binding force; invalid
1NU4Not able to feel
1NU6Australian marsupial anteater with stripes
1TA8Chemical element, atomic number 73
1TA5Provoke with words
1TA4Not slack, as a rope, adj.
1TU4Biggest brass instrument; Sousaphone
1TU5Adj. relating to flexible pipes, esp. Fallopian ones (… ligation)
1TU6Loud, confused crowd noise; or disorder; noun
1TU4Chicken of the sea (Ahi …)
1TU4Ballet skirt, or S Afr Bishop Desmond
1UL4Forearm bone opposite radius
1UM6Two dots over a letter in German
1UN5Prohibit, verb
1UN5Adult ♂

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