Bee Roots for 2024-05-09

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/DGILNZ
  • Words: 62
  • Points: 315
  • 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, ...)
1AD6Join something to something else
1AD7Confuse, muddle
1AG5Another time; once more; adv.
1AG5How old you are, noun; or grow older, verb; or period of history, noun
1AI6Be sick
2AL4,5Pond scum
2AL5,8Sync up positionally (… the 2 holes so you can put a screw through them)
1AN6Medical term for severe (chest) pain
1AN7They can be acute, right, or obtuse
1AN5Yearly record book
1AN4Opening at the end of the alimentary canal through which solid waste matter leaves the body, adj. form also means uptight
1DA8Move a baby up and down in a playful or affectionate way
1DA4Mild cuss (just get the … thing working!); euphemism for “condemn to Hell” expletive
1DA8Hang or swing loosely
1DA6Stunned confusion (in a …), noun/verb
1DA8Amaze, or blind with bright light, gerund form is a pangram
2DI4,7What you turn on a rotary phone or radio knob (don't touch that …!)
1GA7go around from one place to another, in the pursuit of pleasure or entertainment
1GA7Choke or retch, verb; or material placed over someone's mouth to prevent them from speaking or crying out, noun/verb
1GA4Super enthusiastic; Biden inauguration National Anthem singer
2GA4,7Increase the amount or rate of (you always … a few pounds on a cruise)
1GA4Formal ball or fundraiser (The Met …, e.g.)
1GA8Asian plant of the ginger family, widely used in cooking and medicine
2GA4,7Liver secretion, or bold behavior
2GA4,7Group of thugs ("Working on the Chain …"), noun/verb
1GA8The world of criminal groups
1GA8Lanky & bumbling; gerund (think a newborn foal trying to stand; starts with a group of thugs such as the Crips; the more common term ends in –LY)
1GA7Nerve cluster
1GA6Stare intently
1GL4Pleased, delighted
1GL5Organ in the body that secretes chemicals
1GL7Fit window panes, or overlay with a shiny coating
1GL4Nervous system connective tissue “cell,” (anagram of venomous lizard “monster”)
1IN6Not on the coast
1IN6Decorate something by embedding pieces of a different material in it, flush with its surface
1LA6Load cargo (root is archaic, derivatives are still in use)
1LA7Long-handled utensil for serving soup
1LA7Fall behind, verb/noun
1LA5Hawaiian porch or island
2LA4,7Alight on the ground, verb/noun
2LA4,4Put something down
1LA6Relax, idle (… around)
1NA4Indiaan flaat breaad
1NA4Nothing, Spanish
1NA7Annoy or irritate with persistent fault-finding or continuous urging
1NA5Greek water nymph, or dragonfly larva
2NA4,7Spike that’s hammered, noun/verb
1NA4Grandma, slang; or Peter Pan dog
1ZA7Sharp change of direction; usually the second part of a compound for a path with multiple sharp changes of direction
2ZI6,10Path with multiple sharp changes of direction; compound adj./verb
1ZI6Sunflower within the daisy family (what other flower starts with Z?)

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