Bee Roots for 2024-05-16

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: L/AGINTV
  • Words: 76
  • Points: 439
  • Pangrams: 3
Source: Lone Star Looking Glass

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, ...)
1AI6Be sick
2AL4,5Pond scum
2AL5,8Sync up positionally (… the 2 holes so you can put a screw through them)
1AL4Illumination, noun/verb (Let there be …)
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
1AN5Heavy block for metalworking (… Chorus from Verdi's Il Trovatore)
1AT5Move into a sloping position, or fight windmills (… at)
2AV5,8Make use of (… yourself of), or use (to no …)
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
1GA7Brave, heroic
2GA9,12Roam around for pleasure, pangram
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
1GI8Silly laugh; verb/noun
1GI4Coat with element Au, atomic no. 79
2GI4,7Fish breathing organ
1GL4Nervous system connective tissue “cell,” (anagram of venomous lizard “monster”)
2GL5,8Give out or reflect small flashes of light, verb/noun
2IN7,10First (letter, as in J.R.R. Tolkien)
1LA7Fall behind, verb/noun
1LA5Hawaiian porch or island
1LA7Tropical perennial flowering plant in the verbena family
1LA4Molten rock from a volcano
1LA4Put something down
1LI8Medical term for tie off (-TION form is more common: tubal …ion)
2LI4,7Singsong accent
1LI6A queue, what you wait in for your turn
1LI4Dryer fluff
2LI8,10What a lawyer does with a lawsuit, verb, noun form is a pangram
1LI6Exist, verb; or not on tape (TV show), adj.
2NA4,7Spike that’s hammered, noun/verb
1NA5Latin adj. relating to place or time of birth
1NA5Seafaring military force, adj., not belly button
1NI8Cause slight but persistent annoyance or worry (a …ing suspicion or doubt)
2TA4,7Dogs wag this hind appendage
1TA10Door at the back of a pickup truck, noun; or follow too closely when driving, slang verb; or party in the parking lot before a sporting event, compound noun/verb
1TA4Of greater than average height, adj.
1TA6Fringed prayer shawl
1TA4Ankle bone
1TA8Twist together into a confused mass, verb/noun
1TA8Rat out your sibling to your parents
1TI6Thin ceramic wall, counter, flooring, or roofing square
2TI4,7Cash register or drawer, noun; “up to,” preposition; or prep soil for planting, verb
2TI4,7Move into a sloping position, or fight windmills (… at)
1TI8Slight prickling or stinging sensation, noun/verb
1TI11Stimulate or excite, especially in a sexual way
1VA7Muscular tube connecting female genitals to the cervix
1VA5Tenth cranial nerve, supplying the heart, lungs, and upper digestive tract
1VA7Possessing or showing courage or determination
2VA7,8Flavor from beans of white (plain …) ice cream + chemical compound of that flavor, C₈H₈O₃
1VI4Small glass container (… of poison), NOT despicable
2VI5,8Time spent awake when usually sleeping, especially to keep watch or pray
1VI5Large & luxurious country house (Roman …)
1VI7Bad guy in a story
1VI5Essential, or lively (… signs)

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