Bee Roots for 2024-05-26

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: C/ABEIKL
  • Words: 41
  • Points: 196
  • 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, ...)
1AB5Surprised (taken …), adv.
1AB5Bead calculator
1AC6African or Australian wattle tree
1AC4Trendy smoothie berry
1AL5Archaic exclamation of regret or dismay; from list word for “absence of”
1BA7Rod-shaped microorganism
1BA4Part of body containing your spine
1BE4Gesture requesting attention; summons (at someone's … and call)
1BI8Holy book (starts with Genesis)
1BL5Color that reflects no light; color of the 8-ball
1BL9Exclude from membership, usually by secret ballot, compound
1CA5Secret political faction
1CA6Jewish mysticism; usually starts with K (but that spelling has never been allowed in the Bee)
1CA6Taxi driver, slang
1CA5Thick wire rope (… bridge), San Francisco trolley (… car), or insulated wire (power or USB …)
1CA6Make a harsh, raucous sound when laughing, verb/noun; (the witch …d with delight as she stirred the potion)
1CA4Baked dessert, often with layers and icing; traditional birthday party fare
2CA4,8Phone, name, summon, or shout (out)
1CA5Arum plant referred to as a lily
1CA8Invitation to return for a second audition, compound
1CE5Person who’s well-known, slang abbr.
1CE6Gluten intolerance disease
1CE4Prison “room,” or smallest unit of an organism
1CE5Yo-Yo Ma’s instrument (also Pablo Casals')
1CI5Short microscopic hairlike vibrating structure found in large numbers on the surface of certain cells; (anatomy) eyelash
1CL5Heel sounds on tile, verb; or NPR “car” show guy 2
2CL5,9What you do to a web button or link, verb; or NPR “Car Talk” guy 1; the quality of allowing this is a pangram
1IC6Frozen water spear formed from drips
1IL5Hip bone
1KI4Strike with foot, verb/noun
1KI8Recoil (from a gun), or payoff, compound noun
1KI8Game that’s a cross between soccer & the one the Yankees play, compound
1LA4Frilly fabric, or shoestring
1LA4Absence of (talent or imagination, e.g.), verb/noun
1LI4Itchy hair parasites
1LI4Tongue off (as an ice cream cone, e.g.), verb/noun
1LI5Purple flower or shade

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