Bee Roots for 2024-05-31

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/BIORTV
  • Words: 50
  • Points: 253
  • Pangrams: 2
Source: Grinnell College Musical Instrument Collection

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, ...)
1AB5Head monk, perhaps at Downton
1AB5Call off (a mission or takeoff, e.g.)
1AI7Shallow-draft watercraft powered by an aircraft engine, for use in swamps, compound
1AO5Main blood pipe from heart
1AR10Reach an authoritative judgment or settlement, for example in a labor dispute
1AR5Tree garden; its “Day” is the last Friday in April in many places
1AR7Variety of round-grained Italian rice used in making risotto
1AR4Opera solo
1AT5Large open-air or skylight covered space surrounded by a building, common in ancient Roman houses; an upper cavity of the heart
1AT5Flower oil for perfume
1AV6Video game stand-in, or film set on Pandora
1AV7Pilot or fly in a plane, verb (from Latin for bird)
1BA4Rum sponge cake, or Ali & his 40 thieves
1BA4(Put a) worm on a fishing hook; verb/noun
1BA6African tree
1BA4Sharp projection near end of fishhook or on top of wire fence; start of Streisand name
1BA6Spanish term for “neighborhood”
1BI5The animal and plant life of a particular region
1BO4Wild pig
1BO4Small ship, as in “tug-”
1BO4Taiwan sweet tea with gelatin pearls
1BR4Badly behaved child; or a type of sausage (…wurst)
2BR5,5Exclamation expressing approval when a performer has done something well, from Italian; also has a feminine form; or B in the phonetic alphabet
1BR5Prickly shrub (… patch)
1IO49th Greek letter, I; or extremely small amount
1OR6Make a speech
1OR8Religious music for orchestra & voice (Handel’s Messiah, e.g.)
1RA5Jewish minister or teacher
1RA6Gregarious, plant-eating mammal with long ears, long hind legs, and a short tail (famous ones include Bugs and Roger)
1RA5Indian yogurt veg dip
1RA7Machine gun sound
1RA5Proportion in math (Golden …, e.g.)
1RO4Lion “shout”
1RO7Move in a circle around an axis or center
1TA5Forbidden, cultural no-nos
1TA5Small drum used to accompany a pipe or fife played by the same person
1TA4Asian veg that sounds like fortunetelling cards
1TA5Fortunetelling cards
1TA4Open filled pastry, noun; or sharp taste, adj.
1TA6Fish sauce, or tooth buildup
1TA6Skin “ink”
1TI5Jeweled, ornamental ½ crown
1TI5Shin bone
1TR5Characteristic, often genetically determined (left-handedness, e.g.)
1TR7Benedict Arnold, e.g.
1TR9Italian restaurant with simple food
1TR6Insignificant facts (there are often contests), noun + adj.
1VI8Move rhythmically and steadily to and fro, oscillate, adj. form is a pangram
1VI7Musical effect consisting of a regular, pulsating change of pitch, pangram

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