Bee Roots for 2024-05-05

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: M/AELOPY
  • Words: 47
  • Points: 171
  • 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, ...)
1AM4A supply of bullets, slang abbreviation
2AM5,5Plentiful, adj. (her … bosom)
1AM4Abbr. for … nitrite "poppers" you sniff at a rave; or C₅H₁₁ on its own
2EM6,8Give work to someone and pay them for it, verb/noun; or make use of
1LA4Tibetan Buddhist monk (Dalai …)
2LA4,6Disabled or weak; esp. foot or leg, causing a limp
1LA4Illuminating device
1LE5Math term for intermediate or helping theorem in a proof
1LL5S Am camel
2LO4,5Fertile, sandy soil
1LO4Cloth weaving device
1MA4♂, the sex that produces sperm
1MA4Shopping center with many stores under one roof
2MA4,5♀ parent, slang
1MA6Vertebrate class that has hair, milk, & live birth
1MA5Tree with sap used for syrup
1MA4Hellman’s sandwich spread, slang abbr.
1MA7Painted post, decorated with flowers, around which people dance in Spring, holding long ribbons attached to the top of the post, compound pangram
2ME4,5Breakfast, lunch, or dinner
1ME5Confusing scuffle
1ME4Viral internet funny image, noun/verb
1ME4Office note abbr.
1MO5♀ parent, slang
1MO4Burrowing blind rodent, or embedded spy
1MO4Mobster’s ♀
1MO5Small black aquarium fish; or actress Ringwald; or Ecstasy drug (slang)
1MO5Mother, familiar
1MO5$, slang (from Fiji)
2MO4,5Sulk, brood; verb, past tense is also a bicycle with a small motor
1MY7Malignant tumor of the bone marrow
1MY5Nearsighted person
2PA4,5Underside of hand, or coconut tree
1PA5S Am treeless grassland
1PO4Verse that usually rhymes, from Frost et al.
1PO4Botany term for apple or pear (think French)
1PO6Large Asian grapefruit
1PO6Extra seat on a horse or bike saddle, knob on a sword; or gymnastics “horse”
1PO4Ceremonial public display (Elgar’s “… & Circumstance March” at graduations)
1PO6Cheerleader accessory

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