Bee Roots for 2024-05-07

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: B/ADFLOR
  • Words: 37
  • Points: 128
  • Pangrams: 1
Source: The Federal Group USA

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, ...)
1AB6Train conductor cry: “All …!” (“Get on now!”)
1AB6Overseas (travel …)
1AD5Filipino stew or Mexican seasoning
1AR5Tree garden; its “Day” is the last Friday in April in many places
1BA4Rum sponge cake, or Ali & his 40 thieves
1BA4Head with no hair, or tire with no tread
1BA4Where Cinderella lost her slipper, noun; or squeeze or form into a spherical shape, verb
1BA6Narrative song; or a slow sentimental or romantic song
1BA6African tree
1BA4Sharp projection near end of fishhook or on top of wire fence; start of Streisand name
1BA4Archaic term for “poet”; Shakespeare’s “… of Avon” nickname
1BA4Throw up (slang)
1BL4Reveal a secret by indiscreet talk
1BL4Gelatinous mass, or 1950s alien horror film
1BL5What hearts pump, noun/adj.
1BO4Wild pig
1BO5Plank of wood, noun; or get on a vehicle, verb
1BO4Taiwan sweet tea with gelatin pearls
1BO5Critic’s slang adj. for a wildly successful show or film
1BO4Thrown weighted string weapon
1BO4𝐔𝐧𝐚𝐟𝐫𝐚𝐢𝐝, 𝐨𝐫 𝐝𝐚𝐫𝐤 𝐭𝐞𝐱𝐭 𝐥𝐢𝐤𝐞 𝐭𝐡𝐢𝐬, 𝐚𝐝𝐣.
1BO4Cotton seed target for weevil
1BO7Short, thick post for mooring or protection
1BO4Western string tie
1BO4Breast, slang
1BO6“Owie” you kiss & make better, mistake, or what 2 ghosts say
1BO4Lout, NOT wild pig
1BR4Small nail, or Janet's hubby in “Rocky Horror”
1BR5Wide, or slang term for ♀, adj. + adv.
1BR5Fret about, or a hen sitting on eggs, verb + adj.
1DR4Dull, lacking brightness or interest, adj.
1FL4Soft, loose flesh on a person’s body; fat
1FL10Bottom of a car interior, or wood plank in your home that you walk on; compound pangram
1LA5Hard work (manual…), or UK political party of Tony Blair (they add a U)
1LO4Wolf, Spanish
1OD7Weirdo (or pool table orb with a non-even number); compound
1RO7Vehicle roof rod to protect against overturning, compound

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