Bee Roots for 2024-04-30

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: A/FINOTX
  • Words: 36
  • Points: 189
  • Pangrams: 1
Source: The Verge

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, ...)
1AF7Legal term for someone who swears to a statement of fact
1AF5Stick something onto something else (ends in “repair” synonym), verb
1AF5In progress (Sherlock Holmes “The game’s …”)
1AN6Ceremonially smear someone with oil, or designate as a successor
1AN4Soon, poetically
1AN4Opposed to (prefix), NOT uncle’s wife nickname
1AN6Left-wing protest group used as a scapegoat by the right
1AN5Atom or molecule with a net electric charge
1AN10Write something, for example music, in a specialized system; or write comments in the margins of a book
1AN9Poison (neuro-…), noun
1AT6Nerve disease or brain damage that causes slurred speech & poor muscle control
1AT6Succeed in getting, or reach; verb (… nirvana), noun form is a pangram
1AX4Long threadlike part of a nerve cell along which impulses are conducted from the cell body to other cells
1FA5Lose consciousness, verb; or barely perceptible, adj.
1FI4Italian car brand (part of Chrysler), formal decree, or arbitrary order
1FI8Attach obsessively, noun form is a pangram
1FO7Italian semi-soft cheese; starts with “typeface” synonym
1IN6Baby, noun
1IN10Cause to begin, or admit into a secret society; verb; or novice, noun
1IN10Character of sound, a sound (dial or ring-); noun; give greater strength or firmness to a body or a muscle; verb
1IO49th Greek letter, I; or extremely small amount
1NA4Indiaan flaat breaad
1NA4Inexperienced person (from French)
1NA4Grandma, slang; or Peter Pan dog
1NA6Swimming or floating adj. from Latin
1NA6Country, or temperance activist Carrie
1NO6Skim, adj. (… milk)
1NO8Write something, for example music, in a specialized system; or write comments in the margins of a book
1TA5Smear of corruption or pollution, noun/verb
1TA6Brown chemical in tea & wine used to preserve leather, noun
1TA6Skin “ink”
1TA8Compulsory contribution to state revenue, noun/verb
1TA4Cab (De Niro “… Driver” film)
2TA4,5Group of any rank, such as a species, family, or class (biology)
1TI5Pre-Olympic god, largest Saturn moon, or industry bigwig

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