Bee Roots for 2024-05-12

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/CEILNT
  • Words: 51
  • Points: 252
  • Pangrams: 2

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, ...)
1CE6Powder mixed for concrete & mortar
1CL7(Of weather) mild, adj.; or merciful, adj.; or name of 4th pope, noun, negative form is a pangram
1CL10Small, easy to peel orange, or “Oh My Darling...” song & western film; pangram; starts with above
1CL5Literary term for a region with ref. to prevailing weather (sunny …, e.g.), NOT scale a ladder
1EL7The periodic table is full of these (singular)
1EM5Master of Ceremonies (sounded-out initials), slang noun/verb
1EM6Med that induces vomiting
2EM7,8Renowned (scholar); used with “domain” to mean gov property grab
1EM4Give off (radiation, signals)
1EN10Tempt or lure by offering pleasure or advantage
1EN11Name of a book, movie, or job, noun/verb; or a document showing you own a car or house
1IC6♂ who delivers frozen water, one “Cometh” in O’Neill play, "Top Gun" pilot, compound
2IM8,9About to happen (… demise, e.g.), adj.
1IN9(Of weather) mild, adj.; or merciful, adj.; or name of 4th pope, noun, negative form is a pangram
1IN10Provoke unlawful behavior (… a riot)
1IT4One thing as part of a set, 10 or fewer of these at an express register
1LI4Small green citrus fruit
1LI5Size, speed, or amount restriction
1LI4(Literary verb) represent by image or words, or outline or highlight
1LI7♂ utility pole worker, or forward ♂ football player, compound
1LI8Oily pain-relieving liquid or lotion
1ME4Encounter (I’m supposed to … him in the park)
1ME5Confusing scuffle
1ME4What ice cream does when you leave it out of the freezer, verb
1ME4Viral internet funny image, noun/verb
1ME6Experienced and trusted adviser, usually an older person
1ME4Dispense justice (“… out punishment”), homophone of “animal flesh for consumption”
1ME6Person’s ability to cope with adversity (test your …), NOT iron or tin; noun
1MI43 blind rodents in rhyme
1MI4A person’s look or expression, NOT an average
1MI45,280 feet, or 1.6 km
1MI4Wheat or pepper grinder
1MI6Grain used as food; pearl is most common
1MI4Silent performer
1MI7Imitative behavior, adj.
1MI5Parrot someone’s speaking & mannerisms, verb; or the person doing it, noun
1MI5Chop finely
1MI4Where you dig for ore, or anti-ship bomb
1MI4Smaller version (as in Cooper car), slang abbr.
1MI51/60 dram, UK music ½ note, or calligraphy short vertical stroke
1MI4Breath candy or its flavor or plant source, noun; or create coins, verb
1MI4Tiny tick, or very small amount (I'm a … testy today)
1MI4Catcher’s glove, or Sen. Romney
1MI6Fingerless winter glove for a kid or Sen. Bernie Sanders at inauguration
1TE4Be full or swarming with; homophone of Yankees group
1TE8Set of rooms within a house, or cheap multi-family bldg.
1TI4What clocks measure & display
1TI8Chronology of events or Facebook posts (compound)
1TI7Small songbirds; plural; starts with “breast” slang & ends in “3 blind” rodent

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